Moscow hit by heat not seen in over a century


Moscow and the surrounding region sweltered Wednesday as temperatures soared to levels unseen in over a century, with the state weather monitor warning of dangerously hot nights.

Temperatures in the Russian capital hit 32.5 Celsius (90.5 Fahrenheit) Wednesday, beating a record established in 1917, the director of Rosgidromet weather service, Roman Vilfand, said.

Vilfand told RIA Novosti news agency that in the next few nights, the temperature will not fall below 24.5 degrees, saying these “Egyptian nights” were dangerous because they did not allow people to recover from high daytime temperatures.

He said he expected the temperature to go down by 10 degrees in the following days, with storms and strong winds, before the heat returns next week.

Muscovites tried to cool down in public fountains and parks.

“It’s very hard,” 70-year-old Monira Galimova, who looked tired, told AFP as she sat at a bus stop.

“We do not sleep at night… It’s very difficult, especially for our age group.”

Olga Kryshina, a 34-year-old working in property refurbishments, sat to cool down by a fountain near the Bolshoi Theatre.

Unlike many Muscovites who have escaped to their traditional summer “dacha” country houses, Kryshina said she had to stay in the city for work and was only “dreaming of travelling” outside of urban areas.

Abnormal temperatures “more than 7 degrees above the climatic norm” are expected until the end of the week, Rosgidromet said on its website.

The heatwave has hit the Moscow region as well as the southern and western Kursk, Belgorod and Voronezh regions.

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