Vietnam is unequipped to and incapable of observing meteorites and if one hits the country like it did in Russia recently, no warning is likely, an expert said.
Dr Le Huy Minh, deputy head of the Institute of Geophysics, told news website VnExpress in a report Wednesday that no agencies in Vietnam have the ability or tools to observe the falling of meteorites. "The job requires giant telescopes."
Minh cited international data that listed around 20 cases over the past 300 or 400 years, when meteorites weighing a few to several dozen tons have hit the earth.
He said the chance of one meteorite falling on a particular spot on earth is very small, given its area.
"Thus wherever a meteorite would fall, we have to accept it. There's no way we can avoid it."
Minh said the best thing Vietnam can do is to rely on information from the US and Russia, whose experts observe space regularly and would warn any country in case.
CNN on Saturday said the meteorite in Russia, described by NASA officials as a once-in-100-years event, injured around 1,000 people when it released a blast equivalent to 300,000 tons of TNT.
It cited scientists as saying the asteroid was 45 meters long and came not much closer than 17,100 miles from the earth's surface.
Minh said there were signs that some meteorite had hit Vietnam, with pieces of volcanic rock having been melted due to colliding with meteoroids.
The rock was found in the Central Highlands and the northern highlands provinces of Yen Bai and Cao Bang, he said. "But when that happened and what impacts the incident caused are still unknown."
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