Sonic booms mistaken for earthquakes in New Jersey, Long Island

New York Post – by Sophia Rosenbaum and Bob Fredericks

Sonic booms from fighter jets flying offshore were mistaken for earthquakes by residents along coastal New Jersey and Long Island on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

Residents reported that buildings shook and the ground trembled — but the US Geological Survey said there was no seismic activity in the area.

Aircraft flying faster than 761 mph — the speed at which sound travels — create deafening booms that sound like explosions.  

An official for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst told News12 they did not hold exercises Thursday that would have caused a sonic boom, but the USGS blamed the noise on aircraft breaking the sound barrier.

Suffolk County cops received numerous calls about the booms, and Jersey residents said they felt four tremors about 10 minutes apart.

State police and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office also were on the case.

“We are not reporting any type of seismic blasts anywhere in NJ. Looking to confirm reports of reported tremors,” state police said.

Residents said they felt four tremors about 10 minutes apart.

“It shook here too. We’re looking to determine the cause. Please don’t dial 911 unless there is a life threatening emergency,” the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office tweeted.

Other jittery residents flocked to Twitter to report the news.

“Pretty sure I just felt an earthquake in nj,” champagnechelley @rachelrivera tweetedjust before 2 p.m.

“Reports of loud boom followed by shaking along New Jersey shoreline,” added Greg ‏@GBTRU.

But “LeighLeigh” had another theory.

“No that wasn’t an #Earthquake in New Jersey…it was just governor Chris Christie shaking down Dunkin Donuts,” she wrote on Twitter.

11 thoughts on “Sonic booms mistaken for earthquakes in New Jersey, Long Island

  1. To my non-“common core” mathematical understanding, the speed of sound is approx. 767.27 MPH, not 761 MPH. Small detail, but if one is calculating the time to target, that extra 6 MPH makes the difference between hitting the target and hitting the church/orphanage 20 miles farther out.

    Just sayin’…..

    1. All they wanted to do, Darzak, was hit the target speed at the right location to soil some underwear. Hane’s on sale!

  2. Local news here is saying F-35’s are the cause and are routinely tested over Atlantic Ocean but atmospheric conditions only made it possible to experience it today. Hammonton, NJ is epicenter of boom as per KYW-News Radio.

      1. Thanks Angel 🙂 Read the comments on that abc article?

        “We’ve got one that can see!”

        Several actually.

    1. Rrrrrriiggghhhttt…… Fighter jets.

      Rrrrrriiggthhhttt….. So routine that this is the only time it’s ever happened.

      Yea, tell me another one.

  3. I think JD got his engine test turned up on the mad max ride.
    Now he’s gonna get a ticket for being in a sonic boom free zone.

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