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Friday, March 22, 1996 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Pacific Northwest

Oregon Coast `Earthquake' Just Military Sonic Booms

Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services

PORTLAND - Military jets rocked northwestern Oregon with a pair of thunderous sonic booms yesterday, panicking some coastal residents.

The noises were caused by three Oregon Air National Guard F-15 fighter jets and two Air Force B-1 bombers that had joined a military exercise off the coast. The Navy said the exercise also involved three ships firing missiles 45 miles offshore.

The booms, just before and after 9 a.m., felt like earthquakes to people from Astoria on the northern coast to Albany, 160 miles to the southeast.

"We're really sorry for scaring anybody," said an Air National Guard spokeswoman.

The jets were 100 miles offshore, but atmospheric conditions apparently amplified the sound.

Copyright (c) 1996 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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