SOUTHWEST FLORIDA - WINK News continues hearing from more people shaken up about the moments when their homes, apartments, and offices started shaking. A 5.1 magnitude earthquake created tremors in our area, from as far north as Burnt Store Marina in Charlotte County and as far south as Marco Island.
"I got this sensation that I was rocking like this," Ned Downing said.
Downing lives 11 floors up in The Landings in South Fort Myers. A perfectly quiet afternoon was disrupted by the rumbling of the earth. "Started going like that," Downing said, shaking his sliding glass door. "It was unmistakable. It was an earthquake. And, I thought to myself, this is Florida, we don't have earthquakes here."
People in buildings across southwest Florida were shaken up Thursday. A 5.1 magnitude quake near Cuba reverberated all the way up here. "I Could see the computer screens moving, could see the drapes moving," Craig Reitin said. "Everything was moving."
Some, like Rust Ost who lives in Cape Harbour thought it was just their imagination. "I was sitting at my desk and I was feeling like I was getting dizzy."
Minutes after the calls came in, Cape Coral fire fighters walked through several high rises like Cape Harbour, checking for structural damage. "Everything seems to be fine," Lt. Matt Canham said. "All the AC units were intact on the roof. In 23 years, I've never done this for a possible earthquake. This is a first."
Carmelo Lamotta, owner of Lamotta's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria grew up feeling the tremors of Mt. Etna in Sicily but it was first for his kitchen here. "We started seeing our pots and pans moving, making noise, so we thought there were contractors outside," Lamotta said.
And, for those just visiting southwest Florida, it's a unique story to take back home. "Hey, an earthquake is better than a blizzard," a visitor said.
There were also reports of shaking felt on the upper floors of HealthPark but we're told all the patients are fine. There have been no reports of damage anywhere else.