Meteorite strikes in town in western Cuba

February 2, 2019

Residents and tourists in a town in western Cuba saw a flare pass through the sky and heard an explosion Friday in what officials said was a meteorite strike.

Witnesses reported seeing a ball of fire and a smoke trail in a clear midday sky, and a rain of black stones fell on the tourist town of Vinales and other parts of Pinar del Rio province. Explosions were also heard and a smoke trail seen in Havana. There were no reports of damage or injuries.

"We were coming from the center ... and we saw a ball of fire cross the sky," said Spanish tourist Jesus Nicolas, 34, in Havana. "Sure it was a and a very big one."

Amid speculation on , state media in Cuba denied that a plane had crashed and called it a "natural, physical phenomenon."

Later Friday, a statement from Cuba's Ministry of Science and the Environment read on a nightly newscast confirmed that it was a meteorite strike.

Efren Jaimez Salgado, head of the Environmental Geology, Geophysics and Risks department of Cuba's Institute of Geophysics and Astronomy, earlier told state newspaper Granma that preliminary information suggests a meteorite or meteorite fragments struck an area near the Mural of Prehistory in Vinales and that a team was heading to the area to take samples.

Photos published showed small black stones which when split open had dark red veins.

People in the archbishopric of Pinar del Rio confirmed that two strong explosions were heard and in rural areas of the province rumblings were heard and some houses shuddered.

Explore further: 12-pound lunar meteorite sells for more than $600,000

Related Stories

Strongest tornado in 8 decades hits Cuba; 3 dead, 172 hurt

January 28, 2019

Neighborhood brigades and teams of government workers hacked at fallen trees and hauled chunks of concrete out of collapsed homes Monday as the Cuban capital attempted to recover from what officials called the strongest tornado ...

Large meteorite hits northern Norway

June 10, 2006

A large meteorite struck in northern Norway this week, landing with an impact an astronomer compared to the atomic bomb used at Hiroshima.

Recommended for you

CMS gets first result using largest-ever LHC data sample

February 15, 2019

Just under three months after the final proton–proton collisions from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)'s second run (Run 2), the CMS collaboration has submitted its first paper based on the full LHC dataset collected in ...

Gravitational waves will settle cosmic conundrum

February 14, 2019

Measurements of gravitational waves from approximately 50 binary neutron stars over the next decade will definitively resolve an intense debate about how quickly our universe is expanding, according to findings from an international ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jonesdave
3 / 5 (2) Feb 02, 2019
Good thing that it didn't strike in October 1962!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.