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Russian meteor damage estimated at more than $30 mn

RUSSIA METEOR | 16 de febrero de 2013

Cars drive past the site of a collapsed wall and roof of a zinc plant warehouse in Chelyabinsk, Urals, Russia 16 February 2013. The destruction was caused by a falling meteorite in the Chelyabinsk region. EFE/EPA

Moscow, Feb 16 (EFE).- Russian authorities estimate that the meteor that entered the Earth's atmosphere and exploded in the sky over the Ural Mountains region caused more than $30 million in damage.

"Around 100,000 homeowners were affected (by Friday's incident). The damage is estimated at more than 1 billion rubles (some $30 million)," the governor of the central Russian region of Chelyabinsk, Mikhail Yurevich, said at a press conference.

He added that 30 percent of the windows shattered by shockwaves that rocked that part of the country, where temperatures Saturday dipped to -20 C (-4 F), have already been repaired.

The remaining windows will be repaired over the next week, except for some large ones built in the Soviet era that will require weeks to fix.

Yurevich said the building most seriously damaged by the shockwaves was the Chelyabinsk ice rink.

The meteor streaked across the sky some 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the town of Satka at around 9:20 a.m. Friday and broke up. Shockwaves from the explosion affected several adjacent regions and even parts of the neighboring Central Asian country of Kazakhstan.

Local authorities estimate that 1,000 people were injured, most of them by flying glass.

Authorities on Saturday estimated that 200,000 square meters (2.1 million square feet) of glass will need to be replaced in the Chelyabinsk region, where hundreds of homes have been left unprotected amid the frigid conditions.

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