Area where boom was heard/felt – Map: Google
Officials in Juarez confirm that Friday afternoon’s ‘mysterious boom’ was not such a mystery at all.
According to officials with the Juarez Fire Department, a construction materials company located near the base of the Juarez Mountains used explosives to expose part of a hill.
When JzFD crews arrived, they found several homes with damaged exteriors, broken glass and some foundation damage.
Neighbors told officials the explosion was ‘larger than normal’ as the ground shook the entire neighborhood.
Fire officials added that the time of the detonation was about the same time that residents of Far-East El Paso experienced what they described as a large, sonic boom or a mini-quake Friday afternoon.
At approximately 2:38 p.m., a loud ‘boom’ was heard over the eastern portion of El Paso County.
Reports gathered from social media accounts trace the distance where the sound and the shaking took place. Residents as far west as the Riverside/Ysleta area in El Paso, as far east as Fabens, south to San Eli and north to the remote homes around Shadow Mountain Lakes.
Horizon-area residents described the event as if someone shook their home, while residents in San Eli and Fabens both described the event as if ‘a car had struck their homes.’ Some drivers even felt the force of the explosions while driving their cars.
Over at the USGS Earthquake website, no tremors were listed on their map. Officials with UTEP said there was an event that was registered on their equipment at approximately 2:34, but was not a quake and no other stations around the area recorded it.
Some residents theorized the sound could have been from a meteorite burning up over the city. The last, similar-type incident occurred in 1997 when a bolide meteorite entered the Earth’s atmosphere and exploded 100k feet above West Texas, shaking buildings and worrying residents.