by Natasha Joibi
Mystery surrounded a loud booming sound that was followed by tremours seen and felt in some parts of West Coast Sabah late Monday night (Aug 20).
The incident reportedly happened at about 11.35pm, causing a stir among residents in Kota Belud, Kota Marudu, Tuaran, Sepanggar and Kota Kinabalu.
Speculation is rife on social media that the explosive sound was part of a military exercise at Paradise Camp in Kota Belud, while others associated the noise with a bright fireball seen streaking across the sky that same night.
However, Sabah Meteorological Department director Azemi Daud said it was likely that the explosion was caused by a shooting star or meteor shower, although he was unable to pinpoint the location of the incident.
He added that initial reports received by his department showed that there were no instances of earthquake or thunderstorm in Sabah that could have resulted in the boom.
Meanwhile, according to non-profit group Sabah Stargazers, the mystery fireball was most likely a bolide passing through the sky.
A bolide is an extremely bright meteor, especially one that explodes in the atmosphere.
“We are lucky because this bolide/fireball is not as big as the bolide that hit Russia in 2013.
“We will update more details on the bolide/fireball after getting more information as there are no reliable sources at the moment,” it said in Facebook account.
Meanwhile, Kota Belud police chief Supt Mohd Zaidi Abdullah said cops did not receive any report regarding the incident.
“An explosive sound was indeed heard, but there were no indications as to where it happened, and what caused it,” he noted.