BENGALURU: A loud ‘thundering’ sound in several parts of Bengaluru on Wednesday afternoon triggered panic among the residents, compelling the Indian Air Force to clarify that the sound could have been of a sonic boom .
The sound was heard across the city from the Kempegowda International Airport off Devanahalli in the north to Kengeri and Electronic City in the South.
Many people feared it could be a mild tremor as doors and windows shook after the noise.
The Public Relation Officer of the Ministry for Defence in Bengaluru stated that there was a routine IAF test flight on Wednesday involving a supersonic profile which took off from Bengaluru Airport and flew in the allotted airspace well outside city limits.
“The aircraft was of Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishments (ASTE) whose test pilots and flight test engineers routinely test out all aeroplanes. The sonic boom was probably heard while the aircraft was decelerating from supersonic speed between 36,000 and 40,000 feet altitude,” the officer tweeted.
He added the aircraft was far away from the city limits when this occurred.
The sound of the sonic boom can be heard and felt by an observer even when the aircraft is flying as far away as 65 to 80 km from the person, the tweet said further.
Allaying doubts about earthquake, Commissioner of Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority Manoj Rajan ruled out the possibility of any earthquake and said it needed to be investigated.
“We have 12 seismic monitoring centres in Karnataka but none have reported any seismic activity,” Rajan told PTI.
Founder director of Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) V S Prakash suspected that the sound could be due to the usage of explosives for mining activities.
“Based on my experience as the KSNDMC director for 16 years, I can say that it was due to the resumption of mining of granite in and around Bengaluru,” Prakash opined in a video message.
The other two possible reasons, according to him, were the explosion caused due to some petroleum product and land subsidence because of excessive usage of underground water.
Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said there was no damage reported anywhere. He said he too came to know from media about the sound heard from the airport to Hebbagodi here.
However, there were no calls to the police control room regarding any damage.
The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre also clarified that the activity reported in the state capital was not due to an earthquake.
In a tweet, it said the seismometers did not capture any ground vibration as generally happens during a mild tremor.
The activity is purely a loud unknown noise, it added.