Meteor EXPLODES, shatters windows in western Cuba – after startling Florida Keys (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
The meteor exploded near the town of Viñales, in the Pinar del Río province, Friday, with witnesses reporting hearing two loud blasts as it disintegrated. The body left a huge trail of smoke in the sky and showered the ground with small rocks.
#BREAKING: Just got this video from a friend in #PinardelRio who says they think the trail in the sky was left by a #meteorite, which shattered windows and made extremely loud sounds. Sounded like two #explosions. #cuba@WPLGLocal10pic.twitter.com/AMmb9ZE6vB— Hatzel Vela (@HatzelVelaWPLG) February 1, 2019
Only in Cuba does an apparent meteorite crash and you happen to know the person who’s house was hit. pic.twitter.com/jYhAnBLUy0— Patrick Oppmann CNN (@CNN_Oppmann) February 1, 2019
The terrifying celestial event took place in the clear light of day, and locals managed to catch the sky spectacle on their mobile phones.
Local channel TelePinar’s reporter Fátima Rivera Amador was one of the first people to post what looks like pieces of meteorite. Close-up pictures of her holding charred rocks with whitish material on the inside have been shared on social media.
Reporteros de @TelePinar en el #MuraldelaPrehistoria#Viñales#PinarDelRio constatan caída de piedras negras de alrededor de 7 cm luego de un gran estruendo. @fatimaTelePinar investiga #Cubapic.twitter.com/NLLvVcr18U— Rolando Segura (@rolandoteleSUR) February 1, 2019
Desde Pinar del Río se dice que un meteorito ha caído. En el Mural de la Prehistoria hay reportes de piedras que han caído y que no pertenecen a los mohos tés. pic.twitter.com/8j2uE9HVGc— Alberto C. Toppin (@toppin1893) February 1, 2019
Just before the explosion above Cuba, the meteor was observed from the US. The National Weather Service in Key West reported that it was seen over the Florida Keys, as far north as Marathon.
A meteor was seen in the sky across the Florida Keys. It appears that a meteorite impact occurred in western Cuba, near the town of Viñales, Pinar del Río, earlier this afternoon. https://t.co/XwctzHM5p7 via @Newsblur— Close Danger (@CloseDanger) February 1, 2019
We're receiving reports that a meteor was seen in the sky across the Florida Keys. It appears that a meteorite impact occurred in western Cuba, near the town of Viñales, Pinar del Río, earlier this afternoon. #flwx#KeyWest#FloridaKeys#meteorhttps://t.co/PbzbrEhoGf— NWS Key West (@NWSKeyWest) February 1, 2019
The explosion, which reportedly rattled some windows in the town, has also caused a great deal of confusion, with some outlets first reporting it as a crash of a large plane.
UPDATE: About the alleged crash of a large airplane in #Cuba, Granma is saying that the explosion at Pinar del Rio was caused by a meteorite. However, the Cuban government is mobilizing personnel to further investigate the incident.https://t.co/8Vcu6y3AVr— LAAHS (@The_LAAHS) February 1, 2019
An “independent journalist” Ignacio Luis Gonzalez Vidal went even further and claimed that it was a military aircraft full of Cuban soldiers returning from Venezuela. No evidence to back up the bold claim was provided.
Cuban authorities said the explosion was not man-made and was in fact just a meteorite. It was made primarily of metal, not rock, containing iron, nickel and magnesium. The largest chunk found on the ground was about 11cm, the Cuban science ministry reported in Cuban newspaper Granma.
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