Cayce, SC (Paul Kirby) – A loud boom and ground shaking had officers from the Cayce Department of Public Safety searching for its source early Thursday morning. Sometime between 3 and 4:00 a.m., public safety officers not only heard the sound they described as an explosion but their 911 dispatcher and others at their headquarters say they felt the building shake. They even received some calls saying the noise and vibrations woke citizens in the Avenues area from their sleep.
Officers immediately began combing the city for the source of the sound. They first checked their larger industries like CMC Metals and others along Frink Street. They called the railroad yard to make sure nothing had happened there. The 911 operator on duty contacted neighboring jurisdictions to see if they had reports of the sound and shock waves. After all this, they were still unable to find the source of the sound and shaking.
One astute officer suggested that the phenomena might have been a small earthquake. That was debated for a short while, but no one could understand the explosive boom if there was an earthquake localized in Cayce. After all the looking, their officers never could pinpoint the source of the “big bang.”
While the officers were doing exactly what they were supposed to do, the staff of The Lexington Ledger did a little Googling on earthquakes and booms. According to the website of the United States Geological Survey (www.usgs.gov), shallow earthquakes can actually make a booming noise! The website explains that high-frequency vibrations from a shallow earthquake can generate the booming sound. When earthquakes are deeper, those vibrations never reach the surface. Sometimes the earthquakes create booming sounds even when no vibrations are felt.
As of 6:00 a.m. Thursday, the definitive source of the Cayce BOOM has not been pinpointed. If it was an earthquake, the USGS should release more information sometime later Thursday.