Oct 25, 2010

Heat, smoke sent Russia deaths soaring in 2010: govt

Moscow
Russia
by
Steve Gutterman
,
Reuters
Russian service members haul away trees felled to hold wildfires at bay outside the town of Lukhovitsy on August 6. Photo: Denis Sinyakov, Reuters
Russian service members haul away trees felled to hold wildfires at bay outside the town of Lukhovitsy on August 6. Photo: Denis Sinyakov, Reuters

A heat wave that fanned wildfires and blanketed Moscow with acrid smoke pushed up the number of deaths in Russia by nearly a fifth in July and August this year, according to a government report issued Monday.

Nearly 56,000 more people died nationwide this summer than in the same period last year, said a monthly Economic Development Ministry report on Russia's economy.

"In connection with the unusual heat, forest fires and smoke, in July of this year 14,500 and in August 41,300 more people died than during the same period last year," a section of the report on demographics said