See update below.
Originally published 18 Jun 2014
Mystery booms in New Zealand rattle residents.
A series of mysterious “explosions” have been reported across west and north Auckland, but police are mystified.
Reports of loud ‘‘bangs’’ followed by houses shaking began about 5pm, in the Hibiscus Coast area.
Edwards said people had variously described the noises as sounding like gun-shots and loud explosions.
The booms made people’s houses shake, they report. Officials checked out various possibilities to no avail. There may be multiple sources or various explanations. The sonic boom explanation is not a good one in this case. An obvious explanation would be small shallow quakes in this very seismically active area. Such small quakes might not be caught on equipment.
These mystery noises are very common and affect many communities worldwide. Check out our coverage of news stories on mysterious booms that have various or no obvious explanation. The world is a noisy place.
UPDATE (19-Jun-2014): Auckland’s mystery bangs: Culprit revealed | NZ Herald News.
Defence Force explosive training was behind a series of booms reported around Auckland. This range is regularly used but it seems “a prevailing westerly wind coupled with low cloud cover have amplified the sound from the explosions,” a spokeswoman said. That sort of thing can be deceptive. Living about 10km away from such a range, I notice that on occasion, military exercises will shake the house and make the dog bark. Other times, it’s hardly noticable. Weather conditions do contribute to the variability.