The smog from forest and peat bog fires has shrouded Moscow on Friday morning again. The pungent smoke has covered almost the whole city. The gas attack is accompanied with extremely high temperatures. The city is about to brave another absolute record for summer temperatures on August 6: 40 degrees above zero Centigrade. Meteorologists said that the first week of August would become the hottest in 130 years of observations in Russia.
The smog from wildfires ravaging the Moscow region has been tormenting Moscow for several weeks already. Today's smog is the thickest ever. The level of the air pollution in the city continues to grow. The concentration of carbon monoxide, suspended particles and specific hydrocarbons in the air has exceeded maximum allowable levels. The pollution of the air is expected to grow. "We expect a very intense air pollution in the capital," an official said.
The work of Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport has been disrupted as a result of the smoke. The visibility on the runway is less than 400 meters. The airport works on actual weather: the commanders of arriving planes make personal decisions on landing. Six planes have already landed on the reserve airdrome at Sheremetyevo Airport.
Critical ecological situation in Moscow generated rumors about dangerous consequences, particularly cancer, which Muscovites may have as a result of the gas attack in the city.
"It's like smoking. Lung cancer may develop if one smokes a lot and for a long period of time. A month or two of this smoke in the air will not lead to such a result," a medical specialist said.
Psychologists say that anomalous weather phenomena, such as smog and fires, may develop various phobias with people. "Someone is afraid of losing their homes and possessions in fire, others think that they may suffocate at night, so they do not sleep," a psychologist said.
At least 52 people died in wildfires raging throughout Russia, the health and social development ministry said on Friday.
"A total of 471 people turned for medical help and 72 were hospitalized, 43 fire victims are currently in hospitals and 52 have died," the ministry said.
Wildfires are raging in 22 Russian regions. On Thursday, NASA satellites Terra and Aqua registered 535 hotspots from wildfires across Russia, RIA Novosti reports.
Health experts say pollution levels are so high that breathing has become as dangerous as smoking several packs of cigarettes a day.