More than 20,000 people have been recruited by Russian President Vladimir Putin to help with the cleanup after a meteorite exploded in the central part of the country.
The shockwave shattered at least 4,000 windows, injuring nearly 1,200 people and doing an estimated 33-million dollars in damage.
The meteorite hit the atmosphere at 54,000 km/h, creating a sonic boom that not only blew out windows, but even caused some building walls and roofs to cave in.
Most of the injuries were due to cuts from windows shattering, and Phil Langill, an astronomer with the University of Calgary, says the meteorite likely snuck in under the radar.
“To spot these things you have to have a lot of things working in your favour, you have to have the right equipment looking in the right direction at the time, with the sun at the right angle and many, many other things, including no clouds,” Langill said.
With day-time highs in the area around -12 C, many of the broken windows are being tentatively replaced with plastic sheeting for the time being in order to keep the cold out and heat in.
By one estimate, the total amount of glass that needs to be replaced could cover 125 NHL ice surfaces.
U.S. Congressman Rush Holt, who is also a physicist, says the meteorite is a reminder that NASA’s ‘Near Earth Object’ program needs more funding.
“We want to know of any large scale events that are going to happen, so that you can have emergency response,” Holt said.
Due to the meteorite not landing as a direct hit, nobody was killed in the incident in Russia.