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Meteor explodes over Cyprus, parts of it believed to have fallen north of the island

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A bright meteor exploded over Cyprus and was observed across a wide area of the south of the island around 00:45 local time on Friday, September 9, 2016 (21:45 UTC on September 8). The phenomenon was followed by a sonic boom, prompting hundreds of calls to the police.

People living in the mountainous Troodos range reported green-white glows in the sky at around one in the morning, then large blasts, police said. Some reported the ground shook, the Cyprus-Mail reported.

“It had a 45-degree tilt and a bang was heard as it passed over Cyprus,” said Ioannis Fakas, the honorary chairman of the Cyprus astronomical society.

Fakas told state TV that parts of the object were thought to have fallen into the sea north of Cyprus. “It wouldn’t have weighed any more than a few kilos,” he said. “When it crossed Cyprus it exploded,” he said.

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides said they have received many witness reports of a flash of light in the sky, a series of loud noises that were especially loud and heard in the districts of Nicosia and Limassol. ”We have yet to confirm that it was, in fact, a meteorite but it is more than likely that it was,” Angelides said.

Speaking to the Cyprus Weekly, Cyprus Geological Department official Iordanis Demetriades said that seismic instruments did not record any kind of movement. “Our seismic instruments would have recorded anything shaking on the ground or in the sea. It is more than likely that this object most probably exploded in the sky which is what may have caused the tremor felt by the public.”

Civil Aviation officials said that nothing had been identified or reported by pilots and that flights had been operating normally over the island’s air space all night.

Cyprus Civil Defence is trying to locate any possible remains.

Featured image: File photo. Geminid meteor by John Flannery (CC – Flickr)

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