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Dublin: 16 °C Monday 13 July, 2020

#Russia Fire

# russia-fire - Monday 30 August, 2010

Nine killed in Russian retirement home fire Russia This post contains videos

Nine killed in Russian retirement home fire

Self-immolation of veteran believed to be cause of blaze.

# russia-fire - Thursday 12 August, 2010

FEARS ARE growing across Russia as some say that the wildfires blazing across the country may cause radioactive particles to be blown from the nuclear fallout zone in Chernobyl as far as Moscow.

Russian emergency workers have increased forest patrols in a western region in response to the warnings.

Almost 300 new fires have ignited in the country in the last 48 hours alone.

According to Greenpeace, 20 fires – including three in a highly contaminated forest area – have broken out in the Bryansk region, which is about halfway between Chernobyl and Moscow on the northern Ukrainian border with Russia.

When the Chernobyl power plant’s fourth reactor exploded in 1986, Bryansk was sprayed with radioactive isotopes.

Neighbouring Belarus was also contaminated in the blast.

Alexei Yablokov, a member of the Academy of Sciences, has said that if the fires reach contaminated trees and plants in the areas then  radioactive particles could be carried in the wind.

Vladimir Chuprov, head of the energy program at Greenpeace Russia, agreed: “Fires on these territories will without a doubt lead to an increase in radiation,” he said in an interview with The New York Times, “The smoke will spread and the radioactive traces will spread.”

Radiation experts in Europe and Russia are attempting to quell panic, saying that any possible radioactive fallout from the fires burning up contaminated vegetation would be mild.

Exposure to radioactive isotopes caesium-137 and strontium-90 causes an increase in the risk of developing cancer.

Ulrich Abram, a professor in the chemistry department and radiation expert at the Free University of Berlin, in an interview with Deutsche Welle that the chances of inhaling nuclear material are low as the isotopes are relatively heavy and would fall to the ground quickly is swept up by winds.

Abram said that unless people were in the immediate vicinity of the fires there is an extremely remote chance of breathing in nuclear material. For residents of the area, he said that the “overall radiation dosage will not increase significantly”.

# russia-fire - Friday 30 July, 2010

AT LEAST TWENTY-FIVE people have been killed in escalating forest fires in central Russia, including three firemen. Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in the worst heatwave to strike the country in over 130 years.

The fires have spread through woods scorched dry by the heatwave and have destroyed hundreds of wooden houses in the countryside.

These drivers made a lucky escape as the blaze spread across their path:

Thousands of people in Moscow have been driven to exteme measures to escape the continuing heatwave, which began over two months ago. Around 2,000 people have drowned in rivers and lakes as they attempted to cool off.

Record-breaking temperatures were reached in the capital this week, but heavy rain is forecast to fall on Moscow today which could ease the cover of smog surrounding the city and help the city to cool down.

President Medvedev has reportedly sent members of the government out to assess the areas affected by the fires. Earlier, he tweeted that the ministry of defence is being deployed to tackle the blaze.

Here are photos from the fires and the heatwave: