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Russia cleans up after meteor blast injures more than 1,200

[ 2013-02-18 10:12] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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Thousands of Russian emergency workers went out on Saturday to clear up the damage from a meteor that exploded over the Ural Mountains, damaging buildings, shattering windows and showering people with broken glass.

Divers searched a lake near Chelyabinsk, where a hole several meters wide had opened in the ice, but had so far failed to find any large fragments, officials said.

The scarcity of evidence on the ground fuelled scores of conspiracy theories over what caused the fireball and its huge shockwave on Friday in the area, where there are many defense industry plants.

Nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky told reporters in Moscow it could have been "warmongers" in the United States. "It's not meteors falling. It's a new weapon being tested by the Americans," he said.

A priest from near the explosion site called it an act of God. Social media sites were flooded with speculation about what might have caused the explosion.

Asked about the speculation, an official at the local branch of Russia's Emergencies Ministry simply replied, "Rubbish".

Residents of Chelyabinsk, an industrial city 1,500 km east of Moscow, heard an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt a shockwave that blew out windows and damaged the wall and roof of a zinc plant.

The fireball traveling at 30 km per second, according to Russian space agency Roscosmos, blazed across the horizon, leaving a long white trail visible as far as 200 km away.

NASA estimated the object was 55 feet across before entering Earth's atmosphere and weighed about 10,000 tons.

It exploded kilometers above Earth, releasing nearly 500 kilotons of energy - about 30 times the size of the nuclear bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in World War II, NASA added.

Search teams said they had found small objects up to about 1 cm wide that might be fragments of a meteorite, but no larger pieces.


1. Which mountains did the meteor explode over?

2. What type of city is Chelyabinsk?

3. How many kilometers per second was the fireball traveling at?


1. The Ural Mountains.

2. An industrial city.

3. 30km/second.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Russia cleans up after meteor blast injures more than 1,200

About the broadcaster:

Russia cleans up after meteor blast injures more than 1,200

Emily Cheng is an editor at China Daily. She was born in Sydney, Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Media, English Literature and Politics. She has worked in the media industry since starting university and this is the third time she has settled abroad - she interned with a magazine in Hong Kong 2007 and studied at the University of Leeds in 2009.