Data collected from regional seismic stations show clear signals of an explosion occurring at the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine early on Tuesday morning, Norwegian seismic research foundation Norsar said.
The vast Soviet-era dam, under Russian control, burst in the early hours of Tuesday, unleashing floodwaters across a swathe of the war zone and endangering the lives and welfare of tens of thousands of people.
Norsar said in a statement that the data from one seismic station in Romania showed activity at 02:54 am local time, or 2354 GMT, indicating an explosion, and the timing coincides with media reports of the dam collapse.
Volker Oye, head of research at Norsar told Reuters on Friday that this was the strongest signal but that there were also indications of earlier activity at 02:35 am local time.
“The signal that we are analyzing, the way the energy is recorded on the sensors at distance, clearly shows us that this is an explosive-type character compared to many other explosions that we monitored in the past,” he added.
Both sides in the Ukraine war blame the other for the destruction of the dam, while some Russian-backed officials said that it might have collapsed from within.