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Reported Deaths and Injuries from Meteorite Impact

From Oberlin College, we read:

Meteorite Impact Structures Student Research:

  • 1420 BC  Israel - Fatal meteorite impact.
  • 588 AD China - 10 deaths; siege towers destroyed.
  • 1321-68 China - People & animals killed; homes ruined.
  • 1369  Ho-t'ao China - Soldier injured; fire.
  • 02/03/1490 Shansi, China - 10,000 deaths.
  • 09/14/1511 Cremona, Italy - Monk, birds, & sheep killed.
  • 1633-64 Milono, Italy - Monk killed.
  • 1639 China - Tens of deaths; 10 homes destroyed.
  • 1647-54 Indian Ocean - 2 sailors killed aboard a ship.
  • 07/24/1790 France - Farmer killed; home destroyed; cattle killed.
  • 01/16/1825 Oriang, India - Man killed; woman injured.
  • 02/27/1827 Mhow, India - Man injured.
  • 12/11/1836 Macao, Brazil - Oxen killed; homes damaged.
  • 07/14/1847 Braunau, Bohemia - Home struck by 371 lb meteorite.
  • 01/23/1870 Nedagolla, India - Man stunned by meteorite.
  • 06/30/1874 Ming Tung li, China - Cottage crushed, child killed.
  • 01/14/1879 Newtown, Indiana, USA - Man killed in bed.
  • 01/31/1879 Dun-Lepoelier, France - Farmer killed by meteorite.
  • 11/19/1881 Grossliebenthal, Russia - Man injured.
  • 03/11/1897 West Virginia, USA - Walls pierced, horse killed, man injured.
  • 09/05/1907 Weng-li, China - Whole family crushed to death.
  • 06/30/1908 Tunguska, Siberia - Fire, 2 people killed. (referenced throughout paper)
  • 04/28/1927 Aba, Japan - Girl injured by meteorite.
  • 12/08/1929 Zvezvan, Yugoslavia - Meteorite hit bridal party, 1 killed.
  • 05/16/1946 Santa Ana, Mexico - Houses destroyed, 28 injured.
  • 11/30/1946 Colford, UK - Telephones knocked out, boy injured.
  • 11/28/1954 Sylacauga, Alabama, USA - 4 kg meteorite struck home, lady injured.
  • 08/14/1992 Mbole, Uganda - 48 stones fell, roofs damaged, boy injured.

Meteorite Impact Structures Student Research: The most incredible Chinese report is that of the Chíing-yang Meteorite Shower of 1490.  Supposedly, tens of thousands of people were killed during the shower in the Shansi province.  Yau et al. tell us that "[t]he Chíing-yang incident seems rather implausible in terms of the total number of casualties and the narrow size distribution of the meteorite fragments (Yau et al. 1994)," but they also point out its similarities to the Tunguska event, which would have devastated a populated area.

Yau, K., P. Weissman, and D. Yeomans. "Meteorite Falls in China and Some Related Human Casualty Events." Meteoritics 29, 864-871. [Geobase]

Impact event - Wikipedia: Near misses and forecasts:

  • On 19 May 1996 a 300–500 m asteroid, 1996 JA1, passed within 450,000 km of Earth; it had been detected a few days before.
  • On 18 March 2004 a 30 m asteroid, 2004 FH, passed within 40,000 km of Earth only a few days after it had been detected. This asteroid probably would have detonated in the atmosphere and posed negligible hazard to the surface, had it been on impact course.
  • On 31 March 2004, a 6 m meteoroid, 2004 FU162 made the second closest near miss pass ever observed (closest so far was The Great Daylight 1972 Fireball) with a separation of only 1.02 Earth radii from the surface (6,500 km). Because this object is certainly too small to pass through the atmosphere, it is classed as a meteoroid rather than an asteroid.
  • In 2004, a newly discovered 320 m asteroid, 99942 Apophis (previously called 2004 MN4), achieved the highest impact probability of any potentially dangerous object. The probability of collision on 13 April 2029 is estimated to be as high as 1 in 17 by Steve Chesley of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, though the previously published figure was the slightly lower odds of 1 in 37, calculated in December 2004. Later observations showed that the asteroid will miss the earth by 25,600 km (within the orbits of communications satellites) in 2029, but its orbit will be altered unpredictably in a way which does not rule out a collision on 13 or 14 April 2036 or later in the century. These possible future dates have a cumulative probability of 1 in 45,000 for an impact in the 21st century.
  • Asteroid 2004 VD17, of 580 m, previously was estimated to have a probability of 1 in 63,000 of striking earth on 4 May 2102 (as of July 2006), with risk 1 on the Torino scale, but further observations lowered the estimate. As of the observation on December 17, 2006, JPL assigns 2004 VD17 a Torino value of 0 and an impact probability of 1 in 41.667 million in the next 100 years.
  • Asteroid (29075) 1950 DA has a potential to collide with Earth on March 16, 2880. The probability of impact is either 1 in 300 or zero, depending on which one of the two possible directions for the asteroid's spin pole is correct. This asteroid has a mean diameter of about 1.1 km. The energy released by the collision would cause major effects on the climate and biosphere and may be devastating to human civilization. The Atlantic Ocean is predicted to be facing towards the asteroid on the day of the potential collision.
  • Asteroid 2007 TU24 with an estimated diameter between 300-500-m came very close to earth orbit by 1.4 ld(lunar distance) on January 29, 2008. The orbit of the asteroid is shown on NASA's website [6].
  • Relatively small objects that burn up in the atmosphere can be dangerous beyond their own capabilities. In 2002, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden told members of a U.S. House of Representatives Science subcommittee that the U.S. has instruments that determine if an atmospheric explosion is natural or man-made, but no other nation with nuclear weapons has that detection technology. He said there is concern that some of those countries could mistake a natural explosion for an attack, and launch nuclear retaliation. In the summer of 2001 U.S. satellites had detected over the Mediterranean an atmospheric flash of energy similar to a nuclear weapon, but determined that it was caused by an asteroid.
  • As of March 2008, the Near-Earth Asteroid with the highest probability of impact within the next 100 years is 2007 VK184, with a Torino scale of 1.