USGS: Rumble felt by some in coastal NJ, DE, MD Thursday not an earthquake

    Did you feel it?

    Social media began lighting up shortly after noon Thursday with reports rumbles and ground rattles, but the United States Geological Survey says that an earthquake is not the culprit. 

    “Any chance we just had a small earthquake?” Gina Callegari Truchan posted on Jersey Shore Hurricane News from Brick Township after seeing her front door shake “vigorously.”  

    Laura Cirino Huff wrote on Wildwood 365 that she “heard something” and saw windows “rattling” at her job in Cape May Court House.

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    Similar comments appeared on Facebook pages based in coastal Delaware and Maryland. 

    John Bellini, a geophysicist with the USGS, said that the agency received calls about the activity and reviewed output from seismometers.

    “We looked at the seismometers and didn’t see anything that looked like an earthquake,” he said.

    Bellini said 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.” 

    But Bob Conkwright, a geologist at the Maryland Geoloigcal Survey, said that the agency’s seismometer in Baltimore County, Maryland, registered a blip around 11:55 a.m. Thursday.

    However, seismic determinations are ultimately up to the USGS, he said. 

    In October 2012, a similar incident occurred, with speculation that a sonic boom was responsible. 

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