OJB Contest: What Would Be the WORST Place in OC for Chelyabinsk-Sized Meteor to Hit?


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A conversation on the Weekend Open Thread has gotten me thinking: what if the meteor of a day ago, the Blast Over the Chelyabinsk Oblast, had instead struck here?

Meteor over Chelyabinsk (as seen from Ekaterinberg)

This is the meteor descending over Chelyabinsk, as seen from Yekaterinburg, 120 miles to the north of the hypocenter. (But surely you knew that from the photo.) Had it exploded over Orange County, injuring 1200 but not killing anyone, where would have been the worst place for it to hit?

Bear in mind, Chelyabinsk is no mere Inyo County.  It’s a city of over a million located in an oblast (that’s a province, roughly like a small state) of 3.5 million, a little larger than Orange County.  (Yes, its area is at least 40 or so times as large as OC — but isn’t that true of most places?)  The meteor injured 1000 people and countless (at least at this point) panes of glass in and around Chelyabinsk, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, home of higher education institutions including South Ural State University – the sports teams of which, if I don’t miss my bet based on the city’s and oblast’s flag and coat of arms, have pretty much pretty much got to be nicknamed the Camels.  (And has “Oblast” ever been a better name for a Russian state-equivalent?  Actually, yes it has; this is a center of Russia’s defense industry.  So they are not so very different from us, after all, especially in terms of cursing robustly when things fall from the skies and make big booms.)

No one died in the explosion (or whatever it is finally determined to have been), although about 1200 people sought medical treatment, mostly for injuries from broken glass and the supersonic boom from the 50,000+ mpg projectile most of which apparently made it only to within 20 miles of the surface.  That means that we can just stipulate the same sort of non-fatal result here and ask: if an injurious meteor were to detonate (or whatever) over OC, where would be the worst place to be its unfortunate hypocenter?

In your answers, please do not tell us where the best place to be under the ‘splosion would have been — and if you can’t help yourself at least please try not to be personal, as in referencing certain people’s homes.  Consider economic, human, political, reputational, social and recreational damage — plus, I guess, the benefits of “see where the meteor hit” tourism.


About Greg Diamond

Worker's rights attorney now moving into "good governance" litigation. North Vice Chair of Democratic Party of Orange County and occasional candidate. Proud to be prolix. Unless otherwise specifically stated, his writings never speak for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. He tries to either suppress or openly acknowledge his partisan, issue, ideological, and "good government" biases in most of his writing here. If you have a question about any particular writing, just ask him about it and (unless you are an pseudonymous troll) he will probably answer you at painful length. He lives in Brea but generally doesn't blog about it. A family member works as a campaign treasurer for Wendy Gabriella in AD-73; he doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. He does advise some campaigns informally and without compensation, although in 2014 he may receive some compensation for campaign consulting and fundraising for the campaign of Jorge Lopez for Orange County Assessor.