Sonic Booms Over England
14 Nov 2001
(Source: The Scotsman)
Boom Towns Rocked by Quake Scare
The Scotsman (United Kingdom)
Dozens of families fled from their homes fearing they had been struck by an earthquake when a meteor sped over their neighbourhood.
Terrified residents of Eyemouth and nearby Ayton, in the Borders, alerted police after a massive bang shook their houses.
Burglar alarms and car alarms were set off, sparking fears the area had been hit by an earthquake.
But yesterday seismology experts revealed the normally quiet towns had been rocked by a sonic boom from a passing meteorite.
They claimed a meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere at several times the speed of sound had caused a shockwave which shook houses in the area.
Bennett Simpson, a seismologist with the British Geological Survey centre in Edinburgh, said : "We have had reports of a number of unusual effects felt in the Berwickshire area.
"People reported windows rattling, houses shaking and car alarms going off.
"This was not an earthquake, though, and is consistent with a sonic event, either from an aircraft going supersonic or a meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere.
"Something similar happened in Scotland a number of years ago . It can be quite frightening. "
Lothian and Borders Police today confirmed reports of the sonic boom. A spokesman said: "We received a number of calls from concerned residents in the Eyemouth area reporting a loud bang and shaking.
"The British Geological Survey were contacted and they confirmed it had been a sonic event, possibly caused by a meteor."