HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Multiple agencies are looking into calls of a loud blast in the Mission area.
Rio Grande Valley officials held a press conference Thursday morning in Mission to provide an update on the possible meteorite heard and felt in the area.
Mission Police Chief Cesar Torres said at the conference that the police department became inundated with calls beginning at 5:28 p.m. Wednesday. Torres said that houses were shaken and there was a panic throughout the city.
Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra provided an update Wednesday night, saying that federal partners told him Houston Air Traffic Control received reports from two aircraft that said they saw a meteorite west of McAllen.
Guerra added that the point of impact remains unknown and there have not been any reports of damage in the area. Guerra added that witnessed described seeing a “falling star” or meteor going across the night sky.
Torres said Thursday that the location of a possible impact remains unknown.
“We have not located a scene,” Torres said. “We don’t even know if there is a scene.”
Authorities urged citizens who come across a potential scene to contact local law enforcement, and to not touch anything, if they believe it to be remnants of the meteorite.
The National Weather Service posted an image from the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) after receiving reports of a possible meteorite/fireball. The image shows a signal around 5:23 p.m., they said.
“For those asking what these images mean: It means there was a flash in the atmosphere that was bright enough for our NOAA satellites to detect at or around 5:23 p.m. today,” the NWS stated.
Alton Police Chief Jonathan Flores told ValleyCentral they felt the blast, but the origin of the incident is currently unknown. They added they have received several calls.
“I do know that it was widespread. There are multiple cities receiving the same call,” Flores said.
Mission police told ValleyCentral they are also aware of the reports, and have requested air support from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Police Chief Cesar Torres said they began receiving calls shortly before 6 p.m., and they have now received hundreds of calls from citizens who “heard the earth shake.”
In an update, the Mission Police Department added that there are no reports of damages or injuries as a result of the potential meteorite.
ValleyCentral reached out to the Federal Aviation Administration, who said they don’t have any reports of accidents in the area.