ACT Alliance Appeal: Fires in Central Russia – RUS101

ACT Alliance Appeal: Fires in Central Russia – RUS101

25 August 2010

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Russia — Forest fires, caused by abnormally high temperatures fluctuating around 40⁰C, have raged in many parts of Central Russia. In some areas, these fires have turned into powerful fire fronts. 22 regions are affected.

In seven of them, including the Moscow region, a state of emergency has been declared. More than 2532 houses have been burnt down, 2046 families left homeless, 52 lives lost and 1500 people injured.

3,299 have received a one-time monetary support of 10 thousand roubles each (around US$ 330).

Families which have lost relatives are to receive 1 million roubles.

Most of those who have lost their homes have found temporary shelter with relatives and neighbours or are in specially arranged public buildings. Local authorities and the Ministry for Emergencies have provided medical aid, medicines, fire fighting appliances, water, food and clothes. Relief has also been provided by a number of public organisations and volunteers.

The Russian Orthodox Church has been providing aid through the dioceses, parishes and congregations, along with the Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Service. The department has raised over 30 million roubles (around US$ 1 Million) and sent over 110 trucks with humanitarian aid comprising 120 tons of food, water, medicines, clothes, footwear, fire-fighting appliances and beds from Moscow to the worst-affected regions of Ryazan, Voronezh, Lipetsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Vladimir and Moscow..

As fires continue to advance, the situation in a number of villages and cities of the Ryazan and Nizhny Novgorod regions and the Republic of Mordovia is becoming catastrophic. These are traditionally agricultural and poor regions, and the fires have destroyed crops, the only source of subsistence for most people. Local authorities have no financial resources to provide aid, nor do church parishes have the resources, requiring them to appeal for help from outside.

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