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Sonic booms from fighter jets flying offshore were mistaken for earthquakes by residents along coastal New Jersey and Long Island 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 fling faster than 761 mph — the speed at which sound travels — create deafening booms that sound like explosions.
An official for the 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.
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 tweeted.
Other jittery residents flocked to Twitter to report the news
“Pretty sure I just felt an earthquake in nj,” champagnechelley @rachelrivera tweeted just before 2 p.m.
“Reports of loud boom followed by shaking along New Jersey shoreline,” added Greg @GBTRU