The Tunguska event, sometimes called the Tunguska explosion, was a massive explosion that occurred near the Podkamennaya (Under Rock) Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai of Russia, at 7:40 AM on June 30, 1908.
The explosion was most likely caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5 to 10 kilometers (3–6 mi) above Earth's surface. Different studies yielded varying estimates for the meteor's size, including 60 meters, 90 to 190 meters and up to 1200 meters in diameter.
Although the meteor or comet is considered to have burst prior to hitting the surface, this event is still referred to as an impact event. The energy of the blast was estimated to be between 10 and 20 megatons of TNT — 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The explosion felled an estimated 80 million trees over 2,150 square kilometers (830 sq mi). It is estimated to have measured 5.0 on the Richter scale.
The Tunguska event is the largest impact event in recent history. An explosion of this magnitude had the potential to devastate large metropolitan areas had it occurred over a large city. This possibility has helped to spark discussion of ways to potentially stop large asteroids or comets from hitting Earth.
Amount of people who died was ............... 1
Probably the closest observers were some reindeer herders asleep in their tents in several camps about 30 km (20 mi) from the site. They were blown into the air and knocked unconscious; one man was blown into a tree and later died. "Everything around was shrouded in smoke and fog from the burning fallen trees."