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article imageAnti-smog centers open in Moscow amid burning fires

By Samuel Okocha     Aug 8, 2010 in World
Authorities in Russia have opened more than one hundred and twenty "anti-smog" centers to give residents some respite from record-high heat and choking smoke from wildfires raging around the capital, Moscow.
City official Vladimir Petrosyan said Moscow residents can "get their breath back" in one hundred and twenty three air-conditioned rooms that have opened to the public in government buildings and hospitals, reports the Associated Press which hinted most apartments in Moscow lack air conditioning.
In a related development, Moscow airports reported delays or diversions of some 90 flights on Sunday due to low visibility. The Moscow Ecological Monitoring Service had said the concentration of airborne pollutants such as carbon monoxide was more than three times normal levels.
At least fifty two people have died and more 2,000 homes have been destroyed in the blazes as Russian officials admitted that the 10,000 firefighters battling the blazes were not enough.
Moscow emergency officials said they registered 49 wildfires around Moscow on Sunday with over eight hundred separate forest blazes were burning nationwide early Sunday.
Daily temperature levels have reportedly reached up to 38 degrees Celsius, far higher than the summer average of 24 degrees Celsius.
The heat level has been described as the most intense in one hundred and thirty years in Russia’s history.
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