SANTA FE, N.M. — Residents in the Los Alamos and Santa Fe areas may hear a blast this afternoon (Wednesday, Feb. 14) as the result explosives tests at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
LANL spokesperson Kevin Roark issued a statement saying:
“The Laboratory is planning an explosives test today between 1-3 p.m., and atmospheric conditions could allow the sound to be heard off site.
“People may or may not hear it, and it could go later in the day or be delayed for various reasons, but wanted to give you a head’s up. Again, we won’t be notifying folks on a regular basis, but we have fairly unusual conditions today that could result in an off-site noise event.”
On Jan. 11, a loud explosion at LANL shook the ground and rattled windows in the Santa Fe area, setting of speculation on social media about the source of the blast before the lab confirmed that it came from an explosives test.
A LANL statement issued then said it was unusual for its blasts to be heard off-site, but this one was heard all over Santa Fe — about 25 miles away as the crow flies — and as far east as Eldorado and as far south as La Cienega.
“The Laboratory uses high explosives in a wide variety of dynamic experiments, conducting several hundred experiments per year,” said the Jan. 11 statement.
“While the vast majority of these experiments use small amounts of explosives, some are large enough to be heard off site. Before all experiments, the Laboratory does an extensive assessment of atmospheric conditions in order to limit the possibility of off site sound intrusions. All experiments are conducted under strict regulations and with the utmost in safety, security and environmental stewardship.”