Smog, Heat Wave Accelerate Moscow Death Rate

Moscow Smog by АкутагаваThe combined effects of deadly smog from wildfires and an ongoing heat wave have significantly increased the mortality rate in the Russian capital of Moscow, the city’s health chief revealed on Monday.

Health chief Andrei Seltsovky said that Moscow’s death rate has jumped from 700 per day last year to around 1,300 this year, mainly due to the significant rise in temperature and the poisonous smog from wildfires that have been raging for weeks now. Seltsovky said morgues in the city are almost filled to their capacities due to the sudden increase in mortality.

Moscow has been covered by thick, deadly smog for almost one week now, with carbon monoxide levels in the smoke considered higher than the safe limits. The Emergency Ministry said that some 40 wildfires are burning in areas surrounding Moscow, while more than 500 separate conflagrations have been recorded nationwide. The fires, triggered by a months-long heat wave, started several weeks ago and have destroyed at least 2,000 homes. At least 52 people are confirmed to have been killed directly by the wildfires.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.