Fact Sheet and Reporting Instructions for Explosions Heard in Area

posted Jan 18, 2015, 9:48 AM by Brian Melcer
The Lawrence County Department of Public Safety has been made aware, through reports to the emergency communications center and various social media sources, of explosions or tremors being experienced in various parts of Lawrence County.  Below are some FAQ's regarding the sounds.

What is causing these sounds?
The Department of Public Safety is unsure of the source of these sounds.  Our office, like many other people in the County, merely speculated as to possible sources when inquired from the news media.  An online search of news media actually shows similar reports in various parts of the country.  Regardless of the source, we will try to put reporting parties in touch with the appropriate help.  We want to be sure that all complaints are being collected in an organized fashion so that the appropriate authorities can be notified of the occurrences and use that data to locate the source. 

What do I do if I hear an explosion?
First of all, and most obviously, if there are injuries or property damage, call 9-1-1.  Our telecommunications are trained to ask certain questions to determine what resources are needed, and we will alert the appropriate first responders to the location.

However, none of the recent reports have any property damage or injuries.  They re located in various parts of the County.  They are occurring at different times of the day.  

We are not seismologists, and the events appear to be something that seismologic experts would at least be able to analyze.  If the report does not have any property damage or injuries, we are encouraging residents to report the activity to the US Geological Survey's online reporting tool at http://earthquake.usgs.gov.  You will see a link that says "DID YOU FEEL IT?".  Click on that, and then on the next page the button that says "REPORT UNKNOWN EVENT".  Since most of these occurrence have not registered on the USGS's monitoring systems, it is necessary to click it as an "unknown event".  It is our hope, though, that the amount of reports will spur further investigation.  We will share this link on our social media pages as well.

What are you doing about this?
As mentioned before, our first action is to help everyone determine what the cause of these sounds is.  Once a source is located, we will follow up with the appropriate local, state or federal agency that can further investigate and/or eliminate the cause.  We are also looking at several local methods of electronically reporting the incidences.  The Department of Public Safety will issue further news releases or updates as we receive information that is not speculative but factual.

Have you checked your own readiness?  Visit our Public Education page or http://www.ready.gov.