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'Sonic boom' caused Salt Lake City shaking, not earthquake

Hill Air Force Base said noise was from aerial combat drills
Fighter Jet
Posted at 11:50 AM, Oct 27, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY — Residents took to social media Tuesday saying they felt the ground shake and heard a loud boom around 11:30 a.m. However, what people thought was an earthquake was actually a sonic boom.

The University of Utah seismology department looked into what happened and said that while they picked up some shaking signals, "the signal we recorded is consistent with an atmospheric source, such as a sonic boom."

A spokesperson with Hill Air Force Base said the noise was from the Utah Test and Training Range where the military was running aerial combat drills.

"During training, pilots are authorized to fly at supersonic speeds in certain sections of the range’s airspace and do so frequently." said Donovan K. Potter in a statement. "Most of the resulting noise is not heard along the Wasatch Front, but like today, may be heard based on weather and atmospheric conditions."

Viewers called into FOX 13 to report the movement, while thousands of people posted what they felt on Twitter.