Death toll in Russia`s wildfires rises to 50

Last Updated: Thursday, August 5, 2010 - 16:52

Moscow: Russia has removed all the
explosives and nuclear materials from the Federal Nuclear
Centre in the Volga region to protect it from raging wildfires
that have left 50 people dead.

"There is no threat of explosion or radioactive
contamination, as all the explosive and nuclear materials have
been evacuated," Deputy Minister for Emergency Situations, Gen
Pavel Plat told state-run Rossiya 24 channel.

Gen Plat is supervising the fire-fighting efforts in
the restricted town of Sarov in Nizhny Novgorod region, a
former secret Soviet nuclear weapons production facility
Arzamas-16, now transformed into Federal Nuclear Centre.

He said 1,500 army personnel had joined the interior
troops and fire-fighters battling the wildfires and new
fire-fighting robots El-4 and El-10 have been pressed into
service and the fire has been repulsed from the buildings.

Meanwhile, the death toll has reached 50, Emergency
Situations Ministry (EMERCOM) said today.

"A dead body was found as the houses burned down late
last week were cleared in the Nizhny Novgorod Region and a
patient died in a hospital in the Voronezh Region, bringing
the toll to 50," ITAR-TASS reported.

Meanwhile, the EMERCOM has registered more than 350
new wildfires, Chief of Crisis Management Centre Gen Vladimir
Stepanov told TV channels.

"Over the past day, 373 new fires emerged, and 254
were extinguished, thus there are still 589 fires in Russia
which occupy 196,000 hectares," Stepanov said.

"141 settlements were under threat, but due to our
efforts, not a single house was caught over the past day," he
added.

Meanwhile, after breaking another temperature record
yesterday the Muscovites today woke up to find morning skies
all but free of the thick, toxic smog that had gripped the
city for most of the previous 24 hours.

In Russia, where the main challenge is to keep your
houses warm in the long winters, the vast majority have no
air-conditioner and the Muscovites are finding hard to cope
with temperatures here have reached 38 degrees Celsius.

A respite from heat is not expected before August 15,
when the much desired atmospheric from Atlantic is expected to
arrive with rains and cool weather.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, August 5, 2010 - 16:52

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