"I glanced up and saw a glowing dot in the west. And it got bigger and bigger, like a soccer ball, until it became blindingly white and I turned away," he said.
In a local church, clergyman Sexton Sergei sought to derive a larger lesson.
"Perhaps God was giving a kind of sign, so that people don't simply think about their own trifles on earth, but rather look to the heavens once in a while."
In Chelyabinsk, university student Ksenia Arslanova said she was pleased that people in the city of 1 million generally behaved well after the bewildering flash and explosions.
"People were kind of ironic about it. And that's a good thing, that people didn't run to the grocery store. Everyone was calm," the 19-year-old architecture student said. "I'm proud that our city didn't fall into depression."
As Chelyabinsk began its healing process, residents of San Francisco, on the other side of the planet, worried that they might be next. A science institute in Northern California says it has received numerous reports of a bright streak of light over the San Francisco Bay area on Friday night.
Cuba apparently experienced a phenomenon similar to the meteorite that detonated over Russia this week, island media reported, with startled residents describing a bright light in the sky and a loud explosion that shook windows and walls.
There were no reports of any injuries or damage such as those caused by the Russia meteorite, which sent out shockwaves that hurt some 1,200 people and shattered countless windows.
Cuba apparently experienced a phenomenon similar to the Chelyabinsk meteor several days earlier, island media reported, with startled residents describing a bright light in the sky and a loud explosion that shook windows and walls.
In a video from a state TV newscast posted on the website CubaSi late Friday, unidentified residents of the central city of Rodas, near Cienfuegos, said the explosion was impressive.
"On Tuesday we left home to fish around five in the afternoon, and around 8 p.m. we saw a light in the heavens and then a big ball of fire, bigger than the sun," one local man said in the video.
Jim Heintz in Moscow contributed to this report.
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