WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The booms are back.
Around 10 a.m. Tuesday, reports came spilling in from around the Cape Fear of loud noises and shaking. For years, the mysterious booms have confused residents who not only want to know what’s happening but why.
Some people reported hearing a loud noise while others say they just felt the ground shaking.
The United States Geological Survey says in areas in North Carolina from as far south as Ash in Brunswick County north to Havelock, people felt a weak to light rumble.
We reached out to the USGS office in Memphis that monitors our area. Seismologist Oliver Boyd says nothing registered on the Richter Scale. So what could it have been?
One post on our website said it felt like a surface earthquake like one experienced in California. Boyd says the minimum magnitude that is registered on the scale is between 1.5 and 2. He says if an earthquake is less than that magnitude, it would not be felt.
There was a small earthquake in Virginia early Tuesday morning. Boyd said Wilmington is too far away from the quake to have felt an aftershock.
We also asked if there was any activity in the ocean that could have registered on the coast. Boyd said they had nothing to report.
So is there an answer?
Boyd says we need to figure out if the booms are coming from the earth or the atmosphere which could be determined by putting seismometers into the ground.
There are many theories about what causes this rocking and rolling. But the answers continues to escape scientists.