Meteorite Leaves Big-Ass Crater in Managua, NicaraguaPosted: September 8, 2014
Large blast heard just before midnight followed by burning smell.
“We thought it was a bomb because we felt an expansive wave.”
— Jorge Santamaria
“All the evidence that we’ve confirmed at the site corresponds exactly with a meteorite and not with any other type of event.”
— Ineter scientist Jose Millan
Residents reported hearing a loud bang and feeling the impact, which left a crater 12m (40ft) wide and 5m deep. Government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo said the meteorite seemed to have broken off an asteroid which was passing close to Earth. She said international experts had been called in to investigate further.
No-one was hurt when it hit the wooded area near the international airport and an air force base.
‘Like a bomb’
An adviser to Nicaragua’s Institute of Earth Studies (Ineter), Wilfried Strauch, said he was “convinced it was a meteorite” which caused the impact.
Experts studying the crater said it was not clear whether the meteorite had disintegrated upon impact or had been blasted into soil.
Locals said they heard a large blast just before midnight local time and reported a burning smell.
“We thought it was a bomb because we felt an expansive wave,” Jorge Santamaria told Associated Press news agency.
Ineter scientist Jose Millan said that “we need to celebrate the fact that it fell in an area where, thank God, it didn’t cause any danger to the population”.
Managua, which has more than a million inhabitants is densely populated.
“All the evidence that we’ve confirmed at the site corresponds exactly with a meteorite and not with any other type of event,” he said.
“We have the seismic register which coincides with the time of impact, and the typical characteristic that it produces a cone in the place of impact,” he added.
Astronomer Humberto Saballos said the meteorite could have broken off from the 2014RC asteroid which passed Earth at the same time…(read more)
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- Small Meteorite Strikes Nicaragua, Government Says (abcnews.go.com)
- Small meteorite strikes Nicaragua, government says (star-telegram.com)