MOSCOW, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- The damage caused by the meteorite strike in Russia's Urals region is estimated to exceed 1 billion rubles (about 30 million U.S. dollars), a local official said Saturday.
The number may increase, Governor Mikhail Yurevich told reporters, noting that many buildings were affected and the Ice Palace in Chelyabinsk was seriously damaged.
Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov earlier put the loss at over 400 million rubles (13 million dollars). He said Chelyabinsk and Kopeisk were among the worst-hit cities by the meteoritic debris.
Emergency authorities have been accessing the damaged houses, schools, kindergartens and other public facilities, he said.
Meanwhile, Puchkov said there was no proof that meteoritic fragments have been found.
Earlier reports said the fragments might have fallen into Lake Chebarkul. According to Puchkov, it was only one of the hypotheses, and the fragments could fall in others sites.
On Saturday morning, a plane with the Emergency Situations Ministry carried a severely injured woman from Chelyabinsk to Moscow.
The woman suffered a spinal compression fracture as a result of the meteorite incident, the ministry said.