Early this morning meteorites showered down on to a Russian town. At least one struck and has caused thousands of injuries and damaged over 3,000 buildings in the city.
The meteor, which is estimated to be about 10 tons, entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a hypersonic speed, blew up in the air, and then came crashing down over Russia. According to some reports, the meteor explosion released as much energy as a nuclear blast – a blast much larger than North Korea’s recent test.
The Video below is not from a Hollywood movie, it actually happened early this morning and experts aren’t sure if more might be on the way.
The meteorites showered down near Chebarkul, a town 900 miles east of Moscow and close to the Kazakhstan border, causing at least 1,000 injuries, devastating over 3,000 buildings and even wiping out the local cell network.
The burning rocks could be seen showering down on to the town at around 9:20 a.m. this morning, causing many to fear they were seeing an end of the world event.
“There was panic. People had no idea what was happening. Everyone was going around to people’s houses to check if they were OK,” said Sergey Hametov, a resident of Chelyabinsk, a city of 1 million about 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Moscow.
“We saw a big burst of light, then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud thundering sound,” he told The Associated Press earlier today by telephone.
According to an unconfirmed report from Russia Today and a small local newspaper in the area, the meteorite may have been part of a larger meteor that was intercepted by Russian air defense. Early reports suggest that something intercepted the meteor and caused it to explode before showering burning pieces of rock on to the town below.
This comes on the same day that the newly discovered DA14 asteroid is expected to skim past our planet. NASA officials are denying that this strike has anything to do with tonight’s flyover of the DA14 asteroid.
Russian space agency Roskosmos has confirmed the object that crashed in the Chelyabinsk region is a meteorite:
“According to preliminary estimates, this space object is of non-technogenic origin and qualifies as a meteorite. It was moving at a low trajectory with a speed of about 30 km/s.”
The Russian army has dispatched radiation, chemical and biological protection units to the area, and has put the military on high alert. Since the explosion occurred in the air, a large area must no be thoroughly checked for radiation and other threats.