Scientist says hundreds may die as smog blankets Moscow

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Reuters

* Moscow region says needs over $800 mln to fight peat fires

* Doctors worried, say many Muscovites affected by smog

NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia, July 27 (Reuters) – A prominent scientist said hundreds of people could die as smog from peat fires blanketed a sweltering Moscow for a second day on Tuesday.

Moscow region chief Boris Gromov asked Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to allocate 25 billion roubles ($827 million) to fight the fires smouldering in the forests around Moscow.

Alexei Yablokov, an internationally renowned biologist who runs Russia’s Green Party, said air pollution caused by the smog’s high amount of carbon dioxide could kill hundreds more people than usual in the Moscow region.

“There will be at least 100 additional deaths per day this time round,” Yablokov told Reuters, referring to the last such smog cloud in 2002 in which he calculated 600 people had died each week.

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