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Russia: 49 drowning incidents over 24 hours, 7 children dead

July 7, 2024

Emergency officials said seven children were among those who died in waters across the country as parts of Russia experience extremely hot temperatures.

People sunbathe by the Putyayevsky Pond in Sokolniki Park
Parts of Russia are experiencing searing temperatures with a 1917 record already broken in MoscowImage: Valery Sharifulin/picture alliance/dpa/TASS

Russian emergency officials said on Sunday that there had been 49 drowning incidents across the country over the space of just 24 hours, amid scorching heat affecting large parts of the country.

"A total of 65 incidents were registered on the country's water bodies over the past 24 hours — 49 people died," Russia's Ministry for Emergency Situations said on the Telegram messaging app.

Russian state news agency RIA reported that the figure was 10 more than the same period a year earlier.

Spike in drownings amid hot conditions

The country has been experiencing some of the warmest weather experienced in over a hundred years, with temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit), prompting people to try and cool off in waterways and reservoirs. Temperatures in Moscow broke a 1917 record.

The emergency ministry said that among the incidents reported, a 10-year-old girl drowned in the Volga River in the Nizhny Novgorod region and that divers were searching for her six-year-old sister who disappeared.

The ministry said that an 8-year-old child, who appears to have been without adult supervision, drowned in the Ayba River in the Sverdlovsk region.

Three drowned in the Bashkiria region, between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains, including a 16-year-old girl.

Russia's Service for Hydrometeorology on Friday said that abnormally hot conditions were expected across southern European parts of Russia over the weekend, with temperatures rising in some places above 40 degrees Celsius 104 Fahrenheit).

kb/rc (Reuters, DW sources)