March 08, 7:12
The authorities of the Southern Urals estimated a damage caused by a large meteorite that crashed in Russia’s Urals mountains on February 15 at more than one billion roubles. Scientists from Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg officially announced they found the remains of the meteorite.
The Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily reports that 1,158 people, including 289 children, had sought medical treatment, as the shockwave blew out windows and rocked buildings. Of them fifty-two people were hospitalized. A total of 4,715 buildings, including 3,700 apartment buildings, were damaged.
The operation to liquidate the effects of the meteor shower engaged 24,100 people and over 4,300 vehicles from the neighboring regions of Tyumen, Kurgan and Sverdlovsk, the Kommersant business daily reported. Over 18,000 Emergency Ministry rescuers are now working in the region. Moreover, over 160 specialists from neighbouring regions were dispatched to help local residents to mend broken windows. Moreover, volunteers from neighbouring regions also arrived to help the injured.
A large meteorite crashed in the Urals early on Friday. Its size and the power of explosion are estimated differently. NASA, for instance, estimated the blast at 300-500 kilotons, and said it had released about 20 times the energy of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, the Vedomosti business daily wrote. The impact wave caused injuries and destructions – over 1,000 people suffered mainly cuts from broken windows.
This was a very rare and visually beautiful act of nature and people reacted to it how they could. It is noteworthy that witnesses considered equally different versions of a meteorite shower, a missile attack and a plane explosion – the last two versions seemed even more likely for a Russian. It is even more significant that motorists after a seeing a meteorite flash continued to drive calmly. The surprise passes quickly in Russia.
The regional emergencies ministry announced at first that local residents were well informed through text messages. Later efforts were taken to deny these reports and the ministry even promised to sack an author of this idea. Later the Russian Emergencies Ministry launched a large-scale campaign with emergency meetings, dispatch of mobile teams and mass search for the remains of the meteorites.
As a result, the daily reported, over 20,000 people and 4,500 vehicles, not to mention local residents who mended their broken windows on their own, were engaged in the liquidation of effects of the meteoriteshower, the daily wrote.