(posted Sept 7, 7:30 am)— A strong and mysterious explosion outside the Nicaraguan Air Force base late Saturday night startled residents of Managua and exposed the failure of the government’s command-and-control media model to deliver timely and reliable information.
The explosion occurred around 11 p.m., on KM 9.5 of the Carretera Norte, just outside the Air Force Base located at Sandino International Airport, in a field about 300 meters from the Camino Real Hotel. There are no immediate reports of injuries, deaths or damage. There are also no immediate reports of anything, as everyone looks at each other blinking for answers.
Though the explosion was big — it was heard for miles and sent people running into the streets — Nicaraguan officials have not offered any answers as to what happened. Coronel Manuel Guevara, spokesman for the Nicaraguan Army, told the government-controlled media outlets that the explosion was outside of the Air Force base, there were no damages, and they don’t know what it was. He said army sappers had been deployed to the area to investigate the cause of the explosion. La Prensa, meanwhile, reports that other soldiers blocked off the area with orders to “shoot at anything that appeared out of the ordinary.”
Residents in the area report that they saw something “fall from the sky” in the area, while others reported liquid and debris falling from the sky after the explosion. Amid the confusion, Nicaraguans turned to social media to find information and express their frustration with government’s inability or unwillingness to provide answers.
And, of course, Nicaraguans have not lost their sense of humor. Here is a meme mocking Telemundo’s perpetual confusion about where Nicaragua is located on the map.