Flight restrictions introduced as deadly wildfires blight Moscow
Flights have been delayed in and out of the capital Sunday as Muscovites choke under the acrid smoke of Russia's disastrous wildfires. The fires cover 190,400 hectares of land, the government has said, just 3,000 hectares less than the day earlier.
AFP - Dozens of flights were delayed and concerns grew over public health Sunday as Moscow choked in the worst smog in living memory, blown over the Russian capital from spreading wildfires.
The city's iconic landmarks like the Kremlin towers and the wedding-cake Stalin-era skyscrapers were completely obscured from a distance as the acrid smoke that has suffocated the capital for days showed no signs of shifting.
The wildfires have sparked a major crisis in central Russia, with the authorities rushing to protect strategic sites including the country's main nuclear research facility from the flames.
Moscow drivers put on their car headlights in broad daylight to see through the smog while the sun shone as a hazy disc directly visible by the naked eye with little discomfort. more
'The Kremlin's Central Control Is the Real Disaster'
Moscow is engulfed in smog, 500 fires are still blazing across Russia and the deadly wildfires could pose a nuclear threat if they spread to an area contaminated by the Chernobyl disaster. The German press on Friday says the overcentralization of power is partly to blame for the disaster.
On Friday morning, Muscovites woke up to another day of acrid smog as fires continued to burn near the Russian capital. The wildfires that have torn through forests, peat bogs and villages across the country over the past two weeks have killed 50 people and destroyed thousands of homes.
Officials at the Russian Emergencies Ministry in Moscow have stated that 500 separate blazes, mainly across western Russia, are still burning. With the forecast for the week ahead showing that temperatures could approach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), officials are struggling to ensure that the blazes do not reach explosives in military facilities or an area contaminated with radioactivity from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu warned on Thursday that the deadly wildfires could pose a nuclear threat if they spread in the Bryansk region, which borders Ukraine and Belarus and is around 300 kilometers (186 miles) from the former Soviet nuclear reactor at Chernobyl in what is now Ukraine. moreAnd this one comes with some great maps and other illustrations.
Russia is BURNING! Climate change deniers silent, US Media totally useless
Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 03:05:29 PM CDT
Russia is BURNING. more