Sonic boom reports coming out of New Jersey and Connecticut have left experts at the U.S. Geological Survey baffled. House shaking tremors occurred this afternoon in both states, but it has been confirmed that an earthquake did not occur. The sonic boom recorded in Hammonton, New Jersey, happened around 1:30 p.m. local time.
A sonic boom occurs a traveling object creates shock waves which are traveling amazingly fast and break the sound barrier.
— RT (@RT_com) January 29, 2016
— USGS (@USGS) January 28, 2016
Residents in towns along the Connecticut shore also reported experiencing a sonic boom, with many of them believing that an earthquake had occurred, Fox News 61 reports. Folks living along the Jersey Shore frantically called 911 after their homes shook violently multiple times during the sonic boom incident, NBC News reports. Local law enforcement departments are urging residents to stop calling the emergency number while they are working to determine what caused the shocking noise and earthquake like tremors.
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) January 28, 2016
Dr. Mitchell Gold of the Columbia Lamont Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network said that the sonic boom did not appear to have been caused by an earthquake, after reviewing seismograph readings. According to emerging reports from the U.S. Geological Survey, the shaking from the sonic boom was centered in the Hammonton and Atlantic County Airport area. The tremors were also felt in the New Jersey counties of Ocean, Lakewood, Cumberland, and even in the Long Island and Amityville areas.
The U.S. Geological Survey centered the shaking near the Hammonton, Atlantic County airport at 1:24 p.m. and called it a “probable sonic boom” that caused shaking over a series of time.
Tremors reported on LI likely caused by sonic boom https://t.co/XFZ2DEELo8 pic.twitter.com/pKMTFzsPB5
— News12LI (@News12LI) January 28, 2016
The amount of damage caused by the sonic boom felt in New Jersey and Connecticut is not yet known. Barnegat Township police in Ocean County have blamed a sheetrock crack inside a home on the incident. No known injuries have occurred during the unusual event. Snow piled up on rooftops from the recent storm went flying to the ground during the tremors. Similar shaking has occurred in the past due to military exercises or activities by large trucks, the U.S. Geological Survey notes. Military leaders at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst told the USGS that no military exercises were underway today. The FAA has reportedly confirmed that no aircraft was in the sky that could have caused a sonic boom at the time that the ground and homes were shaking.
NASA explains the effects of a sonic boom this way.
“A sonic boom is the thunder-like noise a person on the ground hears when an aircraft or other type of aerospace vehicle flies overhead faster than the speed of sound or supersonic. Air reacts like a fluid to supersonic objects. As objects travel through the air, the air molecules are pushed aside with great force and this forms a shock wave much like a boat creates a bow wave. The bigger and heavier the aircraft, the more air it displaces.”
We are not reporting any type of seismic blasts anywhere in NJ. Looking to confirm reports of reported tremors.
— NJSP – State Police (@NJSP) January 28, 2016
U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center representative Julie Dutton stated that the sonic boom was first recorded about eight miles southeast of Jackson, New Jersey.
“We don’t believe it to be seismic,” Dutton said during an interview with NBC 4 New York. “We don’t believe it’s an earthquake based upon what we see in the waveforms. It’s probably sonic boom but we can’t prove that.”
What do you think caused the sonic boom felt in New Jersey, Connecticut, and on Long Island?
Check back with the Inquisitr for more details about the New Jersey sonic boom breaking news story as additional information becomes available.
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