Photo: Remains of the meteoroid.
June 10 - The strange objects that lit the night skies on June 10 have now been confirmed as meteors. “This is the FIRST TIME THAT METEORS OF SUCH MAGNITUDE HAVE FALLEN IN SRI LANKA.” The shockwaves and vibrations have been heard throughout the country, from Galle to Puttalam. A Senior Consultant believes that two large meteoroids entered the atmosphere, the larger one splitting into two and the smaller one into about 25 fragments. The loud explosions were some of the particles exploding, probably about 50 to 100 km above the ground. The PECULIARITY of this incident is that there was very little trace of the meteoroids even where extensive damage occurred, such as in Dehiwala. The meteoroid was travelling at such high momentum that all the particles must have dissolved or vaporised by the heat on impact. Residents of Andiambalama say that they had noticed UNUSUAL movement of the stars for about two weeks continually prior to the falling of the meteor. “We saw many shooting stars, the children started gathering at about 8 p.m. every night just to watch this." In Kovinna, Andiambalama, at 9.05 p.m. on the 10th, a woman had noticed something unusual in the western sky. A bright light, almost as large as the full moon, appeared to be moving towards her in a wide arc. Alarmed by thoughts of terrorist air attacks, she called out to her neighbour. Together they watched fearfully as the glowing object drew closer, landed on the roof and vanished completely. A few minutes later the air vibrated with a loud explosion. The next day they discovered that parts of the asbestos sheets on the roof were charred and cracked. A few pieces of rock and sand were scattered around the damaged area. Similar incidents were reported around the country that night. Several people in areas such as Puttalam, Maho and Bingiriya also noted the appearance of the bright light in the sky as well as the loud explosion. In Kimbulapitiya a woman watched a flaming object land on a house and heard the booming sounds soon afterwards. In Campbell Place, Dehiwala, the roofs of two buildings were damaged, and a loud noise was heard. “24 asbestos sheets were broken.”