The effects of the blast at a fertiliser plant in West, Texas, were felt 45 miles away.
The US Geological Survey said its shockwave was equivalent to an earthquake measuring 2.1 on the Richter scale.
ITV News science editor Lawrence McGinty explains why the chemicals in fertiliser can be so explosive:
A major rescue effort is ongoing in a Texas town devastated by a fertiliser plant explosion that has been likened to a nuclear bomb blast.
A huge explosion at a fertiliser plant in the Texan town of West has injured more than 160 people and caused widespread destruction.