Hundreds of people in eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut took to social media on Friday to report feeling shaking or hearing a "boom" type noise, but the U.S. Geological Survey said what they felt was definitely not a temblor.
“Felt it on Martha’s Vineyard! A rumbling, then a jolt. A second rumbling a few mins later,” Whitney Dailey posted on Twitter.
The agency received more than 100 reports of an earthquake from north of Boston to the coast of Rhode Island, but an earthquake felt over such a large geographic area would have been of a magnitude strong enough to be detected by the USGS, geophysicist Robert Sanders said.
Nothing was detected.
What people felt was likely either a sonic boom, perhaps caused by an aircraft, or some other “atmospheric event,” Sanders said. He would not hazard a guess.
NBC10 Boston meteorologist Pamela Gardner said military activity off the South Coast or a meteor or space debris exploding high up in the atmosphere could also be potential explanations.
Earthquakes are not unusual in New England, but are usually relatively weak and cause little to no damage.
A 3.6 magnitude earthquake centered in Buzzards Bay in November was the strongest in southern New England in decades.