Monday, August 9, 2010
Environmental Disaster Grips Russia
The response from the central Government until recently has been one of totally ignoring the existence of any problem. The results for the citizens have been devastating. The mortality rates in the city have almost doubled, rocketing from 360-380 a day on average to something in the region of 1,00 people. 1,300 of the 1,500 spaces in city morgues are currently occupied.Also 104,000 passengers, a record for this year flew out of Moscow on Sunday. The figure for the same day last year was 70,000.
The situation shows no signs of alleviating any time soon. Over the past 24 hours 270 new forest fires have ravaged the land. The current toll of fires now 554 stretching over a region of 190,000 hectares. The disaster has caused the Government to place a temporary ban on all exports of grain and grain products. The number of people directly killed in the fires is 52.
Moscow has been painfully and fatally slow to react to the level of pollution in the capital. Carbon monoxide levels Saturday were 6 times the reasonably accepted limits and other toxic substances were 9 times the recommended levels. It is clear that if something isn't done soon the fires will not only take the forests buyt the lives of many more Muscovites as well.