WTXF - The tremors that affected New Jersey Thursday afternoon were caused by a pair of jets in test ranges, the military confirmed to FOX 29.
According to NAWCAD, the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, the booms were caused by a “perfect storm” of weather, speed and directions.
Numerous social media reports Thursday afternoon noted repeated shaking and/or tremors throughout the state of New Jersey and even other parts of the East Coast, leading to speculation of an earthquake. However, the US Geological Survey said on its Facebook page that the event was caused by a sonic boom, near Hammonton, N.J
A sonic boom is a sound caused by shock waves when an object travels through the air faster than the speed of sound.
The National Weather Service concurred:
We contacted the Lamont Doherty Observatory at Columbia University. We were informed that the shaking in southern New Jersey was not from an earthquake. It was likely the result of a sonic boom.Posted by US National Weather Service Philadelphia/Mount Holly on Thursday, January 28, 2016
The McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Joint Base said on Twitter that they are investigating the situation, but that no aircraft on base are capable of sonic booms.
"We are currently getting numerous calls of tremors/shaking in the area. The USGS is reporting no earthquake nearby," according to a report from Hamilton Police .
The Hamilton P.D. also said that residents should only call 911 in case of emergency.
The reports have come from North Wildwood, Brigantine, Burlington and numerous other parts of New Jersey.
There had been earlier reports that the shaking was caused by a sonic boom off the coast of New Jersey:
ACPD dispatcher just advised the patrol units the shaking was caused by a sonic boom that occured offshore. #boomgate— AtlanticCity911 (@AtlanticCity911) January 28, 2016
New Jersey State Police noted the phenomenon as well:
Several social media users noticed a tremor: