THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER INTERNET NEWS WEBSITE
DATELINE: CINCINNATI, OHIO DECEMBER 21st, 2012
THE GREAT AMERICAN INSURANCE BUILDING
Just over two hours ago, meteorites slammed into the Clifton area of Cincinnati at 121 pm today destroying University Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Bethesda Oak, Good Samaritan Hospital, Deaconess Hospital, Holmes High School, the EPA building as well as most of the University of Cincinnati. The devastation covers a densely populated area of businesses and personal residences. It is estimated over a two hundred square block area is involved including Over the Rhine, University Heights, Fairview, Avondale, Corryville, Northside, and Winton Place.
Reports are that debris from the impact has been ejected out to a distance of ten miles, a major boulder bringing down the Ohio pier for the 275 South bridge. One fragment traveled through and through the Great American Insurance building, pictured above. Another struck the top of the Carew Tower taking off the observation deck and several floors below.
Thousands of fires are currently burning throughout Hamilton County.
Martial law has been declared by the governor and National Guard troops have been deployed. Residents are urged to assist the fire department in containing the many fires which are racing through these neighborhoods and threatening to burn eastward, fanned by a 15 mph westerly wind. Those unable to defend their property should evacuate the area towards the west.
Eyewitnesses claim that the meteor detonated into three or more pieces just before impact.
“For about five seconds the sky got brighter and brighter, like there was a second sun in the sky. I looked to my left and up. After maybe two seconds, burning through the clouds, came a fireball. Orange. Yellow. Black. I thought it was the end of the world,” said Jan Pooley, a professional photographer who was shooting downtown and captured the cover photo above.
There are also reports that an airliner crashed in Paddock Hills, Delta flight 246. An American Airlines jet crashed at Boudinot and Montana Ave. A third plane, also from American Airlines crashed landed safely at Lunken airport with no fatalities.
Fire crews are far as Lexington and Columbus are rushing to the scene.
“We are doing the best we can here,” said Fire Chief Dan Goshorn. “There is not enough water pressure to fight all the fires. We are only containing areas, defending four lane roads and trying to keep the blazes under control that have crossed over east of I-71 and those which are threatening to burn north of route 562.”
All roads are closed into these area.
More impacts are drifting to the east of Cincinnati, into West Virginia, Virginia, southernmost Pennsylvania, Maryland and now in Delaware are being reported, most of these small impacts causing forest fires in local areas. No other cities have been reported asteroid strikes. No strikes west of Cincinnati have been reported.
As these impacts are traveling to the east, tides from the Outer Banks to Long Island are three times normal height. Oceanographers are predicting a tsunami if a large strike were to occur in the mid Atlantic. The President urged all citizens to evacuate immediately any coastal area less than 200 above sea level and for everyone to remain calm.
Satellite data calculates the asteroid’s speed at 17 km per second. Richter scale measurements place the impact at a 5.2 severity. Seismologists equate the energy impact to be equal to that of the Mount Saint Helen’s eruption in the May of 1980, the equivalent energy of a 250 megaton nuclear weapon.
No number has been set on the loss of life though it is calculated in the high tens of thousands. Paul Brown Stadium is serving as a temporary medical attention center and morgue. If you find human remains and are able, bring these to the stadium. Otherwise, call 555-2000 to report deceased individuals. Other medical/morgue centers are: the downtown convention center, Union Terminal, Hyde Park Presbyterian Church and Crossroads church in Oakley.
No missing persons reports will be accepted by the police for 72 hours.