MOSCOW — A cloud of smog has enveloped Moscow, raising airborne pollutants to four times the norm, officials said yesterday, prompting doctors to urge residents to stay indoors as the city swelters in a record heat wave.
Officials have said the smog, which has plunged the Kremlin and other famous landmarks into a dull haze for days, is the capital’s worst since 2002. The cloud has drifted in from dozens of peat bog and forest fires in rural land south and east of the city, Emergencies Ministry officials have said.
Health officials have urged Muscovites who have to venture outside to don face masks to ward off the worst of the poisonous carbon monoxide and carbolic acid particles in the smog.
Moscow routinely has hot summers, but this year has been a record-breaker, with daily maximums around 95 for two weeks. The all-time high of 99.5, was set Monday,
Some Soviet-era housing in Moscow has such poor insulation that apartments offer little reprieve. The majority of Russian offices, especially businesses that cannot afford a spot in steel-and-glass office buildings, have no air-conditioning.
On Moscow’s subway system, which serves at least 8 million people a day, temperatures at some stations have sparked angry exchanges between consumer watchdogs and transport officials over the lack of adequate air conditioning.