Norway’s seismological institute said Friday it had detected “an explosion” at the site and time a dam was breached in Ukraine that caused major flooding.

Norsar’s announcement, which did not provide any information about the cause of the blast, supports suggestions that the hydroelectric dam, located in a Russian-held zone, did not burst as a result of damage incurred during months of heavy bombing.

In a separate announcement later on Friday afternoon, The New York Times reported that a U.S. official said American spy satellites equipped with infrared sensors also detected an explosion.

Russia and Ukraine have been blaming each other for the destruction of the dam on the Dnipro river.

“We are confident that there was an explosion,” Ben Dando, a senior Norsar official, told AFP.


According to the institute, the blast occurred at 2:54 am local time, at a site whose coordinates correspond to the Kakhovka dam.

The magnitude of the blast was “between 1 and 2”, said Norsar, which had yet to calculate its equivalent in tonnes of TNT.

“It’s not a weak explosion,” Dando said.

It was detected at the Bukovina station in Romania, some 620 kilometres (385 miles) from the location of the blast.

The breach has flooded towns and villages along the banks of the Dnipro river, including neighbourhoods of the regional capital Kherson, forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

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More like a incredibly stupid screw up if phone conversation is to be believed