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Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Fire and flood

The flooding in Eastern Germany and Poland is it seems balanced by the heatwave in Moscow and environs - over 40*C in places and it has been sustained now for several weeks. Small wonder than that there are fires raging across the huge expanses that typify this massive country. What is perhaps surprising is the loss of life - 250 according to the news - and the destruction of entire towns. It is almost as if there are no fire services at work at all there. Despite appearances though there are now something like 15,000 fire fighters at work but, at the last count, there are still something over 300 separate fires in progress. The satellite pictures show a smoke plume covering thousands of square kilometres and pictures taken in central Moscow show the city choked with smoke from the fires.

The President and Minister for Emergencies have both criticised the fire fighters, but, as one has pointed out in an intervoew, some of their equipment is unusable because they cannot get spares for it and most of the rest is out of date or inadequate. One hopes that Messrs Putin and Co will take the hint.

Meanwhile the tragedy in Pakistan continues unabated with another couple of months of monsoon still to come. To much rain in one part, not enough in another. Typical weather...

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