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Question
Hi,
 My brain thinks of all kinds of odd thoughts sometimes and this is my latest one. I realize it would be very difficult to really predict, but if nothing else just looking for your educated opinion. If the Tunguska event happened over NYC instead of Siberia how bad would the damage be?I  assume that the fact that the city is made of concrete and steel compared to the thick forest where it actually happened would help, at least in regards to the structures surviving. That said,would the strength of the buildings be enough to really make a difference or would they not really help much at all?
I guess I am curios about two particular things. One, would the highrise buildings protect the people indoors at least to some degree?Two would the structures not really make any real difference and would have been leveled anyway?
Thank you

Answer
Hi Jason,
BAD, really bad! And not hard to evaluate at all. The highrise steel and concrete buildings would have all nearly collapsed/vaporized under the pressure wave and heat of an equivalent 10 - 15 megaton nuclear bomb, equivalent to about 1000 times greater than the famous Hiroshima atomic bomb. (And we've all seen pictures of the results of that event)!  Just imagine one 1000 times greater and stronger!
So your second statement is correct... no difference at all, as all structures would have been either vaporized or leveled.  Furthermore, with a 10 megaton blast, all life forms 5-10 miles radius (maybe even farther) from ground zero probably would not survive the heat and/or pressure wave.
For more on the Tunguska (properly pronounced  tongue GOOSE' ka) event, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunguska_event

Clear Skies,
Tom  

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Tom Whiting

Expertise

I can answer most questions involving general science and engineering, except those involving electronics and computers.  My strong points are all the Earth Sciences, especially Meteorology and Astronomy, and any related subjects to Astronomy.  My weak point is Electronics Technology.   No astrology questions please, or questions about alleged UFO identifications.

Experience

My hobby has been Astronomy for over 50 years. I currently ownand use a 30 inch portable telescope.   I taught at the University Level for 13 years.  My personal interest in life, in general,  has always been science oriented.

Organizations
President - Erie County Mobile Observers Group for over 15 years.Member of allexperts.com astronomy catagory for over 8 years.

Publications
Astronomy Technology TodayErie Times Newspaper - I wrote the "Over Erie Skies" columnfor 11 years.

Education/Credentials
BS  Metallurgical Engineering Grove City College, PAMaster's Degree, Gannon University, Erie, PAAlso retired USAF pilot, 20 years.

Awards and Honors
I was the discoverer of the Mini-Coathanger Asterism up in Ursa Minor.  I earned 6 Air Medals with USAF and retired after 20 years of service with the rank of Major, with over 2100 hours flying time.I also earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1956.

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