Jersey Shore rocked by sonic boom, USGS and National Weather Service confirm

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- A sonic boom rocked towns along the New Jersey coastline Thursday. The source of the blast, however, remains unclear.

The event reportedly happened around 1:30 p.m. and was felt from Lakewood to Vineland.

There have since been reports of several secondary booms and tremors following the first event.

Despite what was felt and heard, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, it was not an earthquake - it was a sonic boom. The National Weather Service also says it was a sonic boom.

The USGS explained in a tweet: "A sonic boom travels through the air w/ the airplane so it arrives at different ground locations at different times."

A spokesperson for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst says "It was not us." They then went on to explain that the base does not have aircraft capable of supersonic flights and were not conducting any ground artillery training.

The 177th Air National Guard out of Atlantic City does fly F-16s, but they tell officials at McGuire-Dix that they also had no flights in the region.

The USGS provided the locations of the sonic booms they recorded, and their proximity to nearby towns:

- 2 miles NNE of Hammonton, NJ

- 8 miles SSE of Jackson, NJ

- 11 miles East of Williamstown, NJ

- 13 miles SE of Pine Hill, NJ

- 37 miles S of Trenton, NJ

Dr. Won-Young Kim is a research professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Dr. Kim says what was felt is consistent with something likely off shore breaking the sound barrier.

New Jersey State Police tweeted: "We are not reporting any type of seismic blasts anywhere in NJ. Looking to confirm reports of reported tremors."

Authorities are continuing to investigate the origin of the sound and shaking.

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