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#1 - JRL 2007-120 - JRL Home
May 30, 2007
Heat in Russia affects work

The whole central Russia is under the influence of heat unprecedented for this time of the year. As REGNUM correspondents inform, in Caucasus, Russian south and in central Russia temperature is setting records for the more than 100 years of weather monitoring.

Agriculture producers speak about a threat to the harvest of grain-crops. Road police say road accidents rate has increased and cite the heat as one of the reasons. Within 24 hours, 767 accidents were registered, 610 people were injured, 516 people rescued, 81 killed.

Emergency ministry warns about high risk of fires. A shopping mall burned down in Makhachkala, Dagestan today. Overall, reports on 573 fires were received for the last 24 hours, 120 people were hurt, 96 people were rescued. 24 people are dead.

The heat poses a special problem to the energy sector. 20 switch-yards caught fire within one day in Moscow only, however, the power engineering specialists managed to avoid an energy disaster. Small electricity shortages are fixed in other cities too. Voronezh was left without hot and cold tap water because of electricity cut-offs.

Moscow is also re-writing its list of records. The temperature in sunlight is over 50 degrees Celsius. Cars begin to boil; asphalt is melting. A truck carrying ice-cream broke through the road in Moscow yesterday. "There has been no such long hot period in May in Russia," Director of the Russian Hydrometeorological Center Roman Vilfand says. "There were years when the temperature was in the same dimension for 3-4 days, but ten days running - this has never happened before."

According to weather forecasters, the abnormal heat wave can result in hurricanes and storms in central Russia. And if in the south storms can bring salvation from the drought, Moscow apprehends accidents. The first sign of potential disaster was a shower in Kaliningrad Region, where 64 mm of precipitation fell down within an hour making some streets in Kaliningrad into canals.

In order to endure heat, doctors advise to Russians to switch to the siesta regime. However, not all employers are ready to sacrifice their working process to their employees' health. Meanwhile, according to the law on sanitary and epidemiological wealth of the nation, if the temperature in the office exceeds +28 degrees Celsius, every following increase by a degree must shorten the work day for an hour. Russia's Chief Sanitary Inspector Gennady Onishchenko proposed to divide the work day into two parts with a long break in the afternoon. However, the proposal remained a wish.