30 Jul 2010

Record temperatures in Moscow

11:57 am on 30 July 2010

Temperatures in Moscow have reached 39 degrees Celsius, the hottest day ever recorded there.

A month-long heat wave has sparked 50 fires in the Moscow region

and the Russian capital is under a thick layer of smog.

Pollution levels in parts of the city are reported to be 10 times higher than normal safety limits. Residents are advised to stay inside or wear masks when outside.

The BBC reports a state of emergency has been declared in more than 20 drought-hit regions.

It is estimated a fifth of the country's wheat crop has now died due to the lack of rain in what is thought to be the country's worst drought for more than a century.