Police in Derry are investigating reports of an explosion in the Waterside area this evening.
A loud explosion was heard throughout the city shortly before 5pm. Police are still trying to determine where exactly the explosion occured but are centering their investigation around the Spencer Road area, and in and around the Dunnfield Terrace area in particular. They have, this evening, evacuated the Spencer Road area, from Dominos Pizzas upwards, including the apartment block and also Dunnfield Terrace and Moore Street. Clooney Hall in Clooney Terrace has been opened to facilitate residents. Two heavily pregnant women are among those who have had to take shelter at the hall.
Community representatives are on the ground and organising overnight accommodation for those who need it. It is believed a number of families with young children will spend the night in a local hotel.
Police sources say that an attack on the police is one possible line of inquiry in the investigation and that they are searching for a device in the area.
A Police spokesperson said: "Police in Foyle are continuing to investigate reports of a loud explosion in the Waterside area just before 5pm this evening.Police are asking members of the public in the Waterside area to be extremely vigilant. Should they discover any suspicious objects they are asked not to touch them but to contact Police immediately.
"Police would also appeal to anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity or vehicles in the area to contact them immediately on 0845 600 8000."
There are no reports of any injuries at this time.