Rumble and Noise Alarms Central Oregon Coast Residents Monday
(Newport, Oregon) – A small rumbling was felt on the central Oregon coast Monday, along with loud booming noise, lighting up Twitter and Facebook accounts all around the state as people in the region asked each other: Did you feel it? (Above: near Pacific City and Hebo, around where a small tremor coincidentally happened)
The question now is: was it a quake, a sonic boom or thunder?
Earlier in the day, the USGS office in Seattle said a magnitude 2 earthquake did indeed shake the region at 11:02 a.m. The tiny tremor was 10.5 miles deep, and happened between Tillamook and Newport, somewhere right along the shoreline. Instruments seem to put it about four kilometers outside of Hebo.
The two events seem to be unconnected, however. Geographically it matched up, but people in Lincoln City said what they heard and felt occurred around 1 p.m., while the quake was around 11 a.m.
Bill Steele, with the University of Washington Geophysics Department, told Oregon Coast Beach Connection it was a miniscule quake and absolutely nothing to worry about.
“These kind of quakes occur anywhere,” Steele said. “We’re a little sensitized right now because of the horrible damage in Japan, and we know there’s a big quake in our future.”
Steele said this kind of quake was not a concern and that people should not be thinking this is a precursor to a larger one.
“If there was a magnitude 6 quake recently, then our chances would be increased for a while,” Steele said.
Steele said further updates during the day on Monday from instruments on the central coast indicate there was no quake around 1 p.m. Steele said the noise and rumble does fit the profile of military exercises off the Oregon coast, which sometimes create sonic booms.
Dave Price, with Oregon Coast Today, said a resident did snap a photograph of what appeared to be a thunderhead cloud near Lincoln City just before the noise. Steele acknowledged the mystery boom and rumble could have been thunder as well.Many people on the central coast have been talking about feeling it via social networks, especially in the Lincoln City and Otis areas. The USGS wants to hear from those who felt it so they can learn more from the event.
The earthquake reporting link is here: http://earthquake.usgs.gov
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