Bengaluru: A thunderous sound — which many claimed sounded like a huge crash — was heard across Bengaluru on Wednesday afternoon at around 1.30 pm, sending people into a state of panic, while the officials ruled out the possibility of it being an earthquake.
The sonic boom was heard across the city from 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.
However, the 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 said.
The Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao said there was no damage reported anywhere. He said he too came to know from media of the sound heard from the airport to Hebbagodi here.
However, there were no calls to the police control room regarding any damage. "We have also asked the Air Force Control Room to check if it was a jet or supersonic sound. Bengaluru police are awaiting confirmation from the Air
Force," Rao said in a statement.
The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre also clarified 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.
On Wednesday night, a spokesperson in Bengaluru of the Ministry of Defence said it was a routine IAF test flight involving a supersonic profile that took off from the Bengaluru Airport and flew in the allotted airspace well outside the city limits.
"The aircraft was of the Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishment (ASTE) whose test pilots and flight test engineers routinely test out all aeroplanes," the spokesperson said in a series of tweets. "The sonic boom was probably heard while the aircraft was decelerating from supersonic to subsonic speed between 36,000 and 40,000 feet altitude."
"The aircraft was far away from the city limits when this occurred. The sound of a sonic boom can be heard and felt by an observer even when the aircraft is flying as far away as 65 to 80 kilometres away from the person," the spokesperson added.