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Loud Explosions Rattle Alhambra, And No One Knows Where They're Coming From

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Alhambra, apparently, isn't as tranquil as it seems. (Photo by Jacweee via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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According to Alhambra residents, loud explosion noises have been shaking their city for the past few months, reports the Pasadena Star-News.

"It does shake the windows. I've heard car alarms being set off," Ian Adams, an Alhambra resident, told NBC 4.

On February 22, the Alhambra Police Department made a post on Facebook saying that it had just received a number of calls about an explosion noise. Several residents commented with their own experiences.

"It was not a sonic boom. I was parked on top of the theater parking structure and saw no flash but I did feel the pressure wave," Christopher Keller responded.

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Marcos Rodriguez said his family mostly hears the noise "at night but we've also heard them early morning (one woke me up) and a couple scattered throughout the day."

Residents say they started hearing the noises around January or February. Christopher Paulson, director of administrative services for the City of Alhambra, told the Pasadena Star-News that, since February 15, the Alhambra Police Department has received 114 calls about the boom sounds. The noises happen at random times of the day, and so far it's been hard to detect a pattern, but Paulson said that it seems the majority of the reports are coming in from the northeast quadrant of Alhambra. He told NBC 4 that, once, the noise was heard during a city council meeting. "All of a sudden we heard this loud sharp explosion—very quick—and we all flinched," said Paulson.

In March, the Alhambra Source sought answers by reaching out to the Alhambra Fire Department, Southern California Edison (which provides the city its electricity), the Alhambra Public Works Department, and the Aviation Division of the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works—spokespersons for those agencies said they had no idea where the noise might be coming from. According to NBC 4 the city has ruled out fireworks as a cause.

Alhambra also reached out to seismologists at Caltech for help in deciphering the mystery. This, too, proved fruitless. Jennifer Andrews, a staff seismologist at Caltech, checked her data to see if there was any strange seismic activity during the times that the booms were reportedly heard. She said she couldn't find anything notable. "Whether it's a man-made or natural phenomenon, I don't know," Andrews told NBC 4.

According to The Alhambra Source, residents in nearby cities San Marino, South Pasadena and El Monte have also reported hearing the noise.