Moscow Smoke Cloud Remains





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Published on Aug 8, 2010

Dense clouds of smoke still linger over Moscow, but the smog seems to be thinning.

On Sunday morning more people began venturing into the streets without face masks.

But the problem is far from over.

Planes continue to be diverted to other airports, and acrid smog seeps into homes and businesses.

Domodedovo international airport, lying 40 kilometres south of the city, has been most affected.

26 flights have been delayed and another 20 diverted to other airports, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

The airport's director explains the problem:

[Vyacheslav Nekrasov, Director, Domodedovo Airport]:

"Of all Moscow airports we are the closest one to the fires in the south and south-east of the Moscow region. This seriously disrupts airport operation. It disrupts because of limited visibility."

Air pollution is now at four times the normal level; an improvement from six times the average on Saturday.

The smoke is the result of wildfires that continue to burn near the capital.

Russian news agency Interfax suggested that death rates in Moscow have risen nearly 30 percent in July due to high temperatures and air pollution.

The reported death toll has now risen to 52, and more than 3,500 people are homeless.

But the true death toll may be even higher.


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