Nine killed in Russia wildfire

July 30th, 2010 - 9:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, July 30 (IANS/RIA Novosti) At least nine people including three women have died and several houses gutted after wildfires raged across central Russia, officials said Friday.
Nine bodies have been found in burnt-out houses in the southwest of Nizhny Novgorod region, the Russian emergencies ministry said.

“During work to dismantle the structures of burnt-out houses in villages that suffered from forest fires in the Vyksa district, the bodies of nine people were discovered: four men, three women and two unidentified bodies,” the department said.

The fire affected several villages, in which 423 houses were completely destroyed.

Earlier Friday, a police source reported that five people had died and 34 were injured in central Russia. The source said that over 900 homes had burned down in the past 24 hours.

Temperatures across much of western and central Russia have crossed 35 degrees Celsius for the past five weeks, causing forest fires and creating what is thought to be the worst drought since 1972.

President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the authorities to take urgent additional steps to fight the fires and to allocate funds for damage compensation.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Friday arrived in the wildfire ravaged region of Nizhny Novogorod to assess the situation.

More than 270 houses were destroyed in the Voronezh region and 505 houses burned down in the Nizhny Novgorod region. Dozens of people were hospitalised and many more received medical treatment.

Around 72 houses were destroyed in the Vladimir region and 59 in the Moscow region.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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