At 2:24 p.m., the U.S. Geological Survey recorded a sonic boom 3 kilometers north-northeast of Hammonton, New Jersey. It said there was no seismic activity, ruling out the possibility of an earthquake.
SOURCE OF SONIC BOOM
The U.S. Navy issued a statement late Thursday, saying aircraft were "conducting flight testing in the Atlantic Test Ranges this afternoon that included activities which may have resulted in sonic booms."
Sources said the aircraft was an F-35 being tested out of the Navy's Patuxent River facility in eastern Maryland.
"The test wing is critical to the safe test and evaluation of all types of Navy and Marine Corps aircraft in service and in development and is primarily based out of Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md," said the Navy in a statement.
The USGS provided this explanation as to why people felt the ground shaking at different times:
Since many have asked: A sonic boom travels through the air with the airplane so it arrives at different ground locations at different times.
The USGS said the booms are caused when an aircraft travels faster than the speed of sound. The group said nine booms occurred and were recorded over the span of 90 minutes.
Here's a map from the USGS that shows where reports of ground shaking have come in:
SOCIAL MEDIA REPORTS
The reports of ground shaking on social media were immediate. These maps show where people posted on Twitter using the words sonic boom, earthquake or #earthquake Thursday afternoon.
This one is specific to the Tri-State region:
This shows the same information for the United States:
Reports of the apparent tremors in New Jersey were immediately posted social media:
7 earthquakes in a row in Jersey?? What is going on, they're getting stronger and stronger! The whole house is shaking— Paris Monroe (@ParisMonroe) January 28, 2016
Tremors about every 5 minutes. USGS says no earthquake; FAA says no sonic boom. Would love an explanation/advice? House shaking.— Deirdre Kane (@BacktoJersey) January 28, 2016
We just had an earthquake down here. Wow.— John Cooper (@briarcoop) January 28, 2016
Earthquake in south jersey????— Laura Jo Bender (@LJVitaleBender) January 28, 2016
Police in South Jersey asked people to stop calling 911 to report it, as it was tying up emergency lines.
One caller said, "Yeah I have a question for you. Was there, anything that happened like a mini earthquake in Howell?"
"What's the emergency that you are calling 911?" the dispatcher asked.
"We can feel our house trembling several times," the caller said.
In Barnegat, one home developed cracks in the ceiling.
The New Jersey State Police posted this message on social media:
We are not reporting any type of seismic blasts anywhere in NJ. Looking to confirm reports of reported tremors.— NJSP - State Police (@NJSP) January 28, 2016
We've also heard reports of ground shaking on Long Island:
@ABC7NY felt 3 separate tremors in Bellmore Nassau county— Steven Seidler (@srock68) January 28, 2016
And even in Connecticut:
Callers from Ft. Path Rd. reporting that they felt shaking at around 2:30 pm. Possibly related to reported earthquake in Southern NJ?— Town of Madison, CT (@Madison911) January 28, 2016
Tell us about any shaking you felt in the comment section below, or tweet us at @abc7NY. The USGS is also asking people who felt the ground shaking to report it to them. Click here to access the submission form.
Eyewitness News is following this story. Keep checking abc7NY for the latest on this developing story.