A blood red sky appeared above a town in El Salvador, triggering panic among a crowd of people who had just come out of a religious service.
The terrifying sky, described as a ‘giant red ball’ was witnessed by people leaving a service at the Horem Ebenezer church in Chalchuapa.
Many of the churchgoers feared it was a sign of the apocalypse.
The effect lasted only a matter of seconds but left the sky with a pinkish tint.
Horem Ebenezer is one of several evangelical Protestant churches which have in recent years recruited thousands of followers in traditionally Catholic El Salvador.
Many evangelical Christians believe mankind is living in the Biblical ‘end times’ and the apocalypse is fast approaching.
Various explanations have been offered for the phenomenon, including the possibility that it was a reflection of the flames from nearby farmers burning stubble in sugar cane fields or that it was due to the Lyrid meteor shower, which happens in April every year.
Chalchuapa is ironically a stronghold of the left-wing FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front), a former guerrilla group which is now the ruling party in El Salvador and has a blood red flag as its symbol.
Images of the eerie sky were shown on a local website run by El Salvadorean journalist Gabe Hash.