Fall of meteorite causes mayhem in Russia

The fall of a meteorite weighing between 10 and 40 tons, which hit the earth in central Russia at a speed of 54,000 kms per hour, left 1,200 peopleinjuredand damaged hundreds of houses.

The injuries were caused mainly by a shockwave from the exploding ball of firethat shattered windows and doors in six different towns in a 100,000m2 area and left some people homeless in temperatures of minus 18 degrees C.

More than 100 people were hospitalized with burns, the majority children.

The impact formed a six metreswide crater on the edge of a lake near Chebarkul.

The disaster is the first of its kind to happen in modern times, but experts discounted the theory that it might have been linked to an asteroid that passed within 17,200 miles of the earth a day earlier.

Russia occupies nearly 12 percent of the earth’s surface and is a country more prone to this type of phenomenon.

In 1908, a meteorite fell in Tunguska, Siberia and exploded with the force of 1,000 atom bombs.

The fall of a meteorite 10 kilometres in diameter is believed to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.