02/19/2013, 00.00
RUSSIA
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Orthodox Bishop of Chelyabinsk: The meteor shower, a sign from God of our fragility

Metropolitan Feofan comments on the meteor shower, which narrowly avoided becoming a tragedy: "We thank God who has saved us from much more disastrous consequences." Almost 1500 people wounded, but no casualties.

Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The meterorite shower on Russia's Urals, which left nearly 1,500 people wounded on 15 February, is a sign that the human race must remember the fragility of the world. This warning comes from the Metropolitan Feofan of Zlatoust and Chelyabinsk, the city most affected by this rare phenomenon and where thousands of buildings were damaged as a result of the tremor caused by the impact of the meteorite on the ground.


"The Holy Bible says that God sends us signs and warnings through natural calamities. The meteor shower seen last night was a reminder for residents of the Urals and the rest of the world that we all live in a fragile and unpredictable world. " " We must be happy that God has saved us from a more severe aftermath and we must thank Him for this favor," he added, referring to the fact that if the fireballs that fell from the sky had not crashed into a frozen lake but instead into a town, the losses in terms of human lives would have been much more severe.


The Metropolitan also urged "all not to lose the strength of will." " A natural phenomenon - he said - must not incite panic or despondency . No natural disaster, sickness or even death can separate us from God. The only real evil in the world is sin".  He stated that escaping devastation by a hairs breath should prompt people to " to look into our hearts, to re-assess our lives, to think how often we pray, when we last went to church and how our lives look through the prism of the Bible".


Meanwhile, the Russian Academy of Sciences announced the discovery of 53 fragments left by the meteorite, the largest of which measures just an inch. All were found near lake Chebarkul, whose waters - according to scientists - contain the core of the celestial body, which they estimate to be at least 50 cm. After initial searches, analysts had lost hope of finding pieces to study, given the power of impact with the water which experts estimate at 30 times greater than the energy generated by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II. (N.A.)

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