Sunday, November 22, 2015

Shaking in South Jersey today was not from an earthquake

Some residents of South Jersey reported today another round of ground shaking.

"Our house in Cape May shook pretty well at around 11:20 this morning. Anybody else notice it?" wrote John Bailey on the popular Cape May Good Times Facebook group. 

In Cape May Court House, Paul Wolcott said the shaking "lasted for about five seconds" and "rattled the glassware."

But it wasn't due to an earthquake.

According to the United States Geological Survey, there were no tremors registered today in New Jersey or throughout the region.

Ground rattles are also common during training exercises at the Joint Base in Ocean County, but there was no scheduled activity there today.

As of this evening, it is not known what triggered today's incident. 

Shaking reports have recently become a yearly event, with some commenting that the ubiquity of social media raises awareness. 

In October 2012, a sonic boom was deemed the culprit of ground shaking felt at the Jersey Shore. In February 2014, another sonic boom rattled the same area. 

In the hours after the 2014 incident, John Bellini, a geophysicist with the USGS, told NewsWorks that seismometers only detect vibrations within the ground.

"Air blasts and super sonic booms don't get recorded," he said. "So if it's a sonic boom, thunder, or a transformer exploding, there's no chance of recording it unless it occurs right near the seismometer."

The last earthquake felt at the Jersey Shore was in August 2011.
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