At Least Nine Sonic Booms Shook New Jersey Today

The USGS says the shaking felt in South Jersey — and other coastal areas of the Northeast U.S. — was caused by a series of at least nine sonic booms. They were caused by military exercises.

Sonic Boom - South Jersey - USGS map

Image via USGS

This afternoon reports on social media started pouring in: People all over South Jersey had felt an earthquake — a series of earthquakes, even. Wildwood 365 says as many as 7 to 10 were found. Reports of shaking came from places as far as New Haven, Connecticut.

Turns out it wasn’t an earthquake. It was a series of nine sonic booms caused by military exercises. The military confirmed two planes from Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland most likely caused the blast.

The United States Geological Survey says there is no evidence of an earthquake in South Jersey today. (Indeed, some reports on social media said it didn’t feel like an earthquake.)

Instead, the USGS says the first sonic boom came about 2 miles north-northeast of Hammonton, New Jersey, at 1:24. Then at least eight more were “reported from southern New Jersey along the Eastern Seaboard to Long Island, New York.” A New Jersey state police dispatcher told troopers it was a sonic boom.

A sonic boom in the area has happened before: In 2012 a military aircraft exercise caused a sonic boom around the same area.

Dan Skeldon, the Press of Atlantic City’s meteorologist, said there have been about a dozen similar tremor incidents in the last five years.

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