A meteor exploded over Russia’s Ural Mountains Friday.
The explosion is equivalent to an atomic bomb explosion where the sonic blasts shattered windows and injured 1,000 people.
The event frightened many Russians, which gave rise to elderly people declaring the world was coming to an end. Many people were injured by flying glass when they flocked to windows to see where the intense flash of light was coming from.
The meteor is estimated to be about 10 tons. It entered the Earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speeds of at least 54,000 kph (33,000 mph). According to the Russian Academy of Sciences, the meteor shattered into pieces around 30-50 kilometres (18-32 miles) above ground.
“There was panic. People had no idea what was happening,” Sergey Hametov, a resident of Chelybinsk, told The Associated Press.
“We saw a big burst of light, then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud, thundering sound.”
According to the science academy, the meteor released several kilotons of energy over the region. The subsequent shock wave broke an estimated 10,000 square meters of glass.
Richard Binzel, a professor of Planetary Science at MIT said that the Russian meteor was estimated to be about 2 meters (6 1/2 feet) across which is about the same size of an SUV.
Although there were 985 people who sought medical care after the shock wave, there were no reports of any deaths.
Sonic booms can happen when meteors enter the atmosphere. This is due to the fact that meteors travel much faster than the speed of sound. However, injuries that occurred in the region was rare.
City officials reported that around 3,000 buildings were damaged by the shock wave.
Damaged windows are not the only problem that the city is facing at this time. Residents face temperatures hovering around minus 9 Celsius (15.8 Fahrenheit) prompting emergency workers to rush closing up the windows and to help out those who were injured.
Some residents, however, took advantage of the panic and confusion following the meteorite explosion. Some smashed windows in their houses in order to receive compensation.
Conspiracy theories also started popping up. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a nationalist leader even blamed Americans for the explosion.
The RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying, “It’s not meteors falling. It’s the test of a new weapon by the Americans.”
In the wake of the meteorite event, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin expressed the need for leading world powers to have a system to intercept objects falling from space.
See pictures of the meteor explosion in Russia and the damage the shock wave caused: