Saturday, February 16, 2013

Injuries from Russia's meteorite fall rise to around 1,000

Injuries caused by a fallen meteorite in Russia's Urals region have risen to around 1,000, including over 200 children, the Russian Interior Ministry said on Friday.
Most of the injured suffered cuts from broken glass as the meteorite burned and exploded in the sky, causing an air wave that smashed windows and damaged some 3,000 buildings, officials said.
Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov told President Vladimir Putin in the afternoon that "more than 500 people have asked for medical assistance" and that "112 people, including 80 children, were hospitalized."
Mikhail Yurevich, governor of the worst-affected Chelyabinsk Region, said later in the day that the number of victims had risen to 950, adding that two-thirds of them suffered minor injuries.
Yurevich also said that property damage had exceeded one billion rubles (33.2 million U.S. dollars). "The Uralskaya Molniya ice arena alone sustained a damage of 200 million rubles (6.62 million dollars)," said the governor.
Sergei Zakharov, chairman of the Russian Geographic Society's regional branch, said in an online report that three explosions of different magnitudes occurred as the meteorite ripped through the skies over the Chelyabinsk Region.
"The first explosion was the strongest. It broke window glass in some homes in the southern neighborhoods of Chelyabinsk," the expert noted, adding that the explosion happened about 60-70 km above the ground and had the approximate power of one to 10 kilotons.

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