russia fire 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
MOSCOW — An average 700 a people a day were dying in Moscow Monday amid a sweltering heat wave and poisonous smog from wildfires, a top Russian health official said Monday.
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Moscow health chief Andrei Seltsovky blamed weeks of unprecedented heat and suffocating smog for the rise in mortality compared to the same time last year, Russian news agencies reported. He said city morgues are nearly overflowing, with 1,300 bodies, close to their capacity.
Acrid smog blanketed Moscow for a six straight day Monday, with
concentrations of carbon monoxide and other poisonous substances two or
three times higher than what is considered safe. Those airborne
pollutants reached a record over the weekend — exceeding the safe limit
by nearly seven times.
About 550 separate blazes were burning
nationwide Monday, mainly across western Russia, including about 40
around Moscow, according to the Emergencies Ministry. Forest and peat
bog fires have been triggered by the most intense heat wave experienced in 130
Alexander Frolov, head of the Russian weather service,
said judging by historic documents, this heat wave could be
unprecedented over a much longer period — up to 1,000 years.