Quake Scare on N. Oregon Coast, Southern Washington, Likely a Sonic Boom
(Astoria, Oregon) – About 1:09 p.m. on Wednesday, something shook a wide range of the north Oregon coast and southern Washington shoreline. Objects rattled, walls shuddered a bit, and at least one witness walking on the sand reported feeling it beneath her feet.
Social media from Cannon Beach up through the southern coast of Washington lit up with talk of things moving and shaking – likely a good 50 miles. But when Oregon Coast Beach Connection talked to a variety of people inland in Portland: not a peep.
Was it an earthquake?
No it wasn't, according to the USGS regional office in Colorado. But what it was is a bit of a mystery.
After checking deeply into all data in the area, the seismologist talked to by Oregon Coast Beach Connection said there was absolutely no record of anything in this region. Several quakes were recorded in Alaska and California about that time, but not a whisper here.
The USGS there concluded that since it was such a large area that reports emanated from, and yet there were no reports inland, the likeliest explanation was a sonic boom.
These are created by jet aircraft, but the U.S. military does not answer questions regarding this phenomenon.
Another seismologist at USGS said the agency will not make that an official cause, only saying they still don't know what made for such a run of reports. But the second scientist said also added that an earthquake will create a radial effect, one which goes out in all directions. These reports were from a lateral area – one going straight up and down the coastline, pointing towards a sonic boom as an explanation.
Keith Chandler, manager of Seaside Aquarium, did not feel anything at the facility. But he said he has felt earthquakes there in the past and even noticed the tanks sloshing around.
You can keep up on live earthquake data and any tsunami warnings along the west coast of the U.S., Canada and Alaska here. More Oregon coast below:
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