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Mysterious Tremors In Ocean City Caused By Sonic Boom, Not Earthquake

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Mysterious tremors shake people in Ocean City, Md. Fears of an earthquake or an explosion spread fast on social media.

We now know it wasn’t either of those things that caused the tremors.

Christie Ileto explains what really happened.

Emergency officials confirm it was a sonic boom that sent waves of concern to Marylanders on the Eastern Shore.

Mysterious noises along Maryland’s Eastern Shore are enough to shake residents up Thursday. But state emergency officials confirm on Twitter–it’s not an earthquake–but two supersonic flights originating from the Patuxent Naval Air Station.

The base couldn’t tell WJZ their exact takeoff or flight plan.

“If you look at our flight pattern and our maps, the sound — the way it travels and everything — it could reach up there,” said Connie Hempel, Naval Air Station.

“A sonic boom could feel like an earthquake,” said Richard Ortt, Maryland Geological Survey

Ortt says seismograph data doesn’t mirror that of an earthquake.

“The timing didn’t align with the known propagation speed of seismic events throughout the earth,” he said.

The agency’s seismograph did pick up a signal around noon. That’s about the same time residents in Ocean City reported hearing a loud boom.

“It shook our windows in the salon,” one woman said.

“I felt a little shake. I was in the shower when it happened,” a man said.

Curiosity floods social media. Some residents wondering if it was an earthquake–others:

“I thought it was a sonic boom because we get those around here all the time,” another man said.

While officials say there’s no evidence of an actual earthquake on Maryland’s shore, the tremors were enough to shake things up.

Fortunately, officials say the tremors did not cause any damage.

Officials say three years ago, the Delmarva Peninsula did feel the 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia.

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