Video: Nearly 1,200 injured by meteor explosion in Russia
Photo: 1,200 injured, many houses damaged as meteorite hits Russia's Urals
|Photo taken on Feb. 16, 2013 shows a factory building damaged by the shockwave of the meteorite fall in Russia's Ural city of Chelyabinsk. Some 1,200 people have been injured and many houses damaged as a meteorite struck Russia's Urals region on Friday. (Xinhua/Jiang Kehong)
BEIJING, Feb. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- The meteor that exploded over Russia's Ural Mountains Friday was the biggest recorded object to strike the Earth in more than a century, scientists said Saturday.
The energy of the detonation appears to be equivalent to about 300 kilotons of TNT, said Margaret Campbell-Brown of the department of physics and astronomy at the University of Western Ontario.
That would make it far more powerful than the nuclear weapon tested by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea just days ago and the largest rock crashing onto the planet since a meteor broke up over Siberia's Tunguska river in 1908.
Campbell-Brown’s calculations show that the meteoroid was approximately 15 meters across when it entered the atmosphere, and its mass at around 7,000 metric tonnes. "That would make it the biggest object recorded to hit the Earth since Tunguska," she says.
The meteor appeared at around 09.25 local time over the region of Chelyabinsk, near the southern Ural Mountains. The fireball blinded drivers and a subsequent explosion blew out windows and damaged hundreds of buildings.
So far, around 1,200 people are reported to have been injured, including over 200 children, mainly from broken glass, according to a statement from the Russian Emergency Ministry.(Source: agencies)
Russian residents begin selling meteorite pieces on-line
BEIJING, Feb. 16(Xinhuanet) -- Hours after the huge meteor explosion over Ural Mountains on Friday, residents of the Russian city of Chelyabinsk had already begun to list meteorite pieces for sale on Avito.Ru, Russia's leading website for classified ads.
As many residents of the city were still nursing injuries from the unexpected blast, others were already trying to make a profit, advertising meteorite pieces for sale on auction sites. Full story
Suspected meteor explosion reported in central Cuba
HAVANA, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- An object fell from the sky over central Cuba on Thursday night and turned into a fireball "bigger than the sun" before it exploded, a Cuban TV channel reported Friday, citing eyewitnesses.
Some residents in the central province of Cienfuegos were quoted as saying that at around 8 p.m. local time Thursday (0100 GMT Friday) they saw a bright spot in the sky comparable to a bus in size. Full story
Putin orders assistance after meteor explodes over Ural Mountains
MOSCOW, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- President Vladimir Putin has ordered immediate assistance for people living in Russia's Ural Mountains after a meteor exploded over the region on Friday, injuring at least 520.
"Every effort should be made to objectively estimate the damage. People have been injured. Assistance must be provided to them immediately," Putin said in a statement posted on the Kremlin's website.Full story
Meteorite burns up over Russia's Urals: authorities
MOSCOW, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- A meteorite burst into the sky over Russia's Urals region and burned up before landing, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Friday.
"What happened over the Urals region was not a meteor shower, as was reported earlier," ministry spokesperson Yelena Smirnykh told the Interfax news agency. "It was a meteorite which burned up as it passed through the lower layers of the Earth atmosphere."Full story
Dozens seek medical assistance in meteorite-hit Urals
MOSCOW, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Some 50 people have sought medical assistance after a meteorite burst into the sky over Russia's Urals region, the Interior Ministry said Friday.
"According to preliminary data as of 10:00 Moscow time (0600 GMT), about 50 people in the Chelyabinsk Region have sought medical attention," said the ministry's press center. Full story