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The Niue police chief says a large bang heard around the island late on Tuesday night sounded like thunder but may have been a meteor exploding.

Mark Chenery says the island has been abuzz about the loud noise and inquiries made at Wellington's Carter observatory suggest it was probably caused by a meteor detonating about 20 kilometres above Niue.

Mr Chenery says he initially thought a boat had blown up down at the wharf.
"There was a large, a huge clap of thunder but it was its normal starry night outside. People have described seeing a white light, like a flare, shooting across the sky. Niue is 64 kilometres around and it was heard in Lakepa in the north west down to Avasele in the south east, so it was certainly heard island wide."
Mark Chenery says there have been no reports of damage.