Residents of South Texas were left puzzled on Wednesday afternoon by a sudden ground-rattling explosion. The source of the blast has since been identified as a meteorite that hit at around 5:28 p.m.
The explosion caused widespread concern among the population, especially after multiple objects over US airspace had recently been shot down. However, Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra reassured people that the incident was not related to any such occurrences.
Two pilots flying near Houston reportedly saw the meteorite, with the FBI sending Guerra a report of their sighting. While meteorite strikes are not uncommon, it can still frighten residents, as US Rep. Mónica de la Cruz explained.
The explosion was detected by a satellite system designed to measure lightning strikes, the National Weather Service in Brownsville, Texas confirmed. There were no storms in the area at the time. The incident occurred near the city of Mission, in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Earlier this month, US military fighter jets shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean off the Eastern Seaboard. This was followed by another downing over Lake Huron and one over Alaskan airspace.