Just like a scene from Deep Impact or Armageddon, Russia witnessed a – hopefully – once in a life-time event this morning.
The Chelyabinsk region in Russia at around 9am local time, just 1,500km east of Moscow, got a real shock this morning when a meteor raced past the sky, dropping fragments in the area, leaving almost 500 people injured at least four of which are reported as serious from broken glass and damage to buildings.
According to Yahoo! news: “Witnesses described feeling a pressure wave and hearing explosions overhead as the object hurtled to earth. Windows shattered and there were localised power cuts, sparking panic among residents.
“The emergencies ministry said that 20,000 rescue workers had been dispatched to help the injured and locate those needing help. The defence ministry said it had sent soldiers to the sites of impact. Police urged people to remain calm and asked those who had been injured to call a special hotline.”
The local office of the National Emergencies Ministry has said: “A meteorite disintegrated above the Urals (mountain range in central Russia), partially burning up in the lower atmosphere. Fragments of the meteorite reached Earth, falling in sparsely populated areas in the Chelyabinsk region.”
Schools have been closed in the area after the impact blew out windows. Rather frighteningly, Chelyabinsk is Russia’s industrial heartland, and has a nuclear power plant and the Mayak atomic waste storage and treatment centre. So, phew…
A spokesman for the Russian nuclear energy state corporation said: “All Rosatom enterprises located in the Urals region – including the Mayak complex – are working as normal.”
Want to know how spectacular this looked? Check out the videos below…