Asteroid hit will be catastrophic for India, US, China

June 30th, 2011 - 7:17 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 30 (IANS) If an asteroid hits India, US or China, these countries will suffer a catastrophic loss of lives and be crippled beyond the possibility of any recovery, scientists have said.

Countries that will be worst affected in the event of a strike also include Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Italy, Britain, Brazil and Nigeria, according to the Daily Mail.

Even smaller countries like Sweden are in grave danger because of damage to their infrastructure.

The list has been compiled by researchers from the University of Southampton using NEOimpactor, a software short for NASA’s “NEO” or Near Earth Object programme.

Looking at population loss, the US, China, Indonesia, India and Japan will face the greatest possible danger. Canada and Sweden, besides US, China and Japan will suffer massive infrastructural devastation.

“The threat of Earth being hit by an asteroid is increasingly being accepted as the single greatest natural disaster hazard faced by humanity,” said Nick Bailey from the University of Southampton, who developed the NEOimpactor software.

The threat of asteroid hits became imminent recently when a rock as large as a small house whizzed by within kissing distance of Earth. Red-faced astronomers only discovered it a few days before, thinking it was a piece of space junk. said it will take an asteroid bigger than 19 km across to obliterate all plant and animal life on earth, including humans.

Such an asteroid is believed to have wiped out dinosaurs 65 million years ago - a rock just 16 km across to hit Earth at 25,000 miles per hour with a force of 100 megatonnes, the equivalent of one Hiroshima bomb for everyone on the planet.

“Nearly 100 years ago a remote region near the Tunguska river (Siberia) witnessed the largest asteroid impact event in living memory when a relatively small object (50 metres across) exploded in mid-air,” said Bailey.

“While it only flattened unpopulated forest, had it exploded over London it could have devastated everything within the city,” he added.

Earth has since avoided such an event in part because of Jupiter’s gravitational field which limits our exposure to space rocks.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |