PINAR DEL RIO, Cuba – There were two loud noises that sounded like explosions, a trail of white smoke on the sky and rocks on the ground in the western Cuban town of Viñales, according to witnesses who believe a meteorite impacted the area.
For a moment, some feared it was a plane. The residents of a home ran out to their backyard to investigate and found black and white sparkly rocks on the floor. Cuban scientists who examined the rocks late Friday said they were without a doubt from outer space.
Witnesses said the impact shattered windows, but no one was injured.
Researchers suspect the witnesses are right. Before the Friday afternoon incident in Cuba, the National Weather Service in Key West announced on Twitter that they were receiving reports of a meteor that was seen in the sky across the Florida Keys and impacted Viñales, Cuba.
Several researchers reported a satellite that covers the western hemisphere detected an apparent meteor flash in the Viñales area.
Some Cubans in Havana found irony in the report since the area's main tourist attraction is the Prehistoric Mural, which was painted on a mountain and depicts the dinosaurs that were extinct after a giant meteor struck.
The GOES-16 Lightning Mapper (GLM) may have caught the flash from the #Cuba meteorite this aftn. This 4-panel shows an extensive “flash” occurring in a mostly sunny scene. Day Cloud Phase RGB (UL), 10.35um Clean IR (UR), .64um VIS (LL), regional radar (LR) pic.twitter.com/atrtXjzOSf— Steve Cobb (@imnotycobb) February 1, 2019
#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 @WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/AMmb9ZE6vB— Hatzel Vela (@HatzelVelaWPLG) February 1, 2019
Vela is reporting from Vinales, Cuba. Torres is writing from Pembroke Park, Fla.