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Pattaya Daily News

01 August 2010 :: 14:08:21 pm 34051

Wildfires Rage Across Russia Leaving Hundreds Homeless

Fires are raging through Russia, wiping out villages and leaving hundreds of people homeless.
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Pattaya1st August 2010 [Russia] As fires rage through the town of Veronezh, 500km south of Moscow, Russia has mobilized 240,000 people to battle the fires  that have spread through 14 of Russia’s 83 regions killing at least 30 people so far.

The military and firefighters have joined forces with the use of 25,000 engines, but with temperature forecasted to reach 40c (104f) in some areas, more fires are predicted. Forests and villages have been swallowed up in the blaze, but officials say they are now in control of the situation.

Many thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes, while internet users across the country have complained bitterly that the fight to quell the fires have been concentrated on Moscow at the expense of surrounding regions.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited a Volga village where all 341 homes have been destroyed leaving 500 people homeless. He told the distressed residents that the village will be rebuilt before the winter and that they will not be forgotten, promising each person affected compensation of 200,000 roubles (£4,200).

The government has put aside 25 billion roubles for this national emergency. Due to the lack of rain in what is said to be Russia’s worst drought for more than a century, it has been estimated that a fifth of Russia’s wheat crop has been destroyed.

Thursday showed temperatures of 39c (102f) in the capital with warnings from health experts of pollution levels reaching 10 times the normal safety limits due to the smoke from nearby wildfires.

Over the past two months, hundreds of people are said to have drowned in attempts to cool off in the record heat with 170 deaths in Moscow alone. The high numbers have been blamed on drunkenness and poorly equipped beaches.

Reggie Colbeck

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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