"We were coming from the center ... and we saw a ball of fire cross the sky," said Spanish tourist Jesus Nicolas, 34, in Havana. "Sure it was a meteorite and a very big one." Amid speculation on social media, state media in Cuba denied that a plane had crashed and called it a "natural, physical phenomenon."
Later Friday, a statement from Cuba's Ministry of Science and the Environment read on a nightly newscast confirmed that it was a meteorite strike. Efren Jaimez Salgado, head of the Environmental Geology, Geophysics and Risks department of Cuba's Institute of Geophysics and Astronomy, earlier told state newspaper Granma that preliminary information suggests a meteorite or meteorite fragments struck an area near the Mural of Prehistory in Vinales and that a team was heading to the area to take samples.
Photos published showed small black stones which when split open had dark red veins. People in the archbishopric of Pinar del Rio confirmed that two strong explosions were heard and in rural areas of the province rumblings were heard and some houses shuddered.