Monday, August 9, 2010

Moscow climate deaths: 350 per day

MOSCOW(AP) — Deaths in Moscow have doubled to an average of 700 people a day as the Russian capital is engulfed by poisonous smog from wildfires and a sweltering heat wave, a top health official said Monday.

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 were nearly overflowing, filled 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 to 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.

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