It was an earthquake. People called police in South Jersey and Delaware this morning reporting a loud booming noise and rumble that shook their homes and everything inside.
The National Earthquake Center confirms it was indeed an earthquake, with a 2.8 magnitude. It happened at 9:45 a.m. and was centered about two miles east-southeast of Pennsville Township, near Mannington Township, New Jersey.
It's not the kind of quake that causes major damage or injuries, but it is the kind of event that leaves people unsettled until they know what's going on. In Salem County, the Office of Emergency Management fielded about 150 calls. Within an hour, they confirmed it was a quake and used the county's reverse 9-1-1 system to let people know what caused their dishes to rattle and to reassure them everything was okay.
Earthquakes have rattled the region since colonial times, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
In February, we had a series of minor quakes. Scientist say as many as five earthshaking events hit New Jersey that month; most in Morris County.
On Feb. 2, a 3.0 magnitude quake rattled windows and alarmed residents of Rockaway, Dover and Morris Plains. A 2.2 magnitude quake on Valentine's Day shook residents in Boonton and neighboring Montville.
An aftershock was felt in Montville on Feb. 16, but was too weak to be noticed by most people, as was one near Teterboro Airport in Bergen County an hour later.
A third 2.3 magnitude quake hit two days later, Feb. 18, just outside Dover.