Siberia wild­fire toll rises to 34, 77 in hos­pi­tal: min­is­ter

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Rag­ing wild­fires in Siberia in re­cent weeks killed 34 peo­ple, the emer­gen­cies min­is­ter said Tues­day in a new toll as Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin vis­ited the stricken re­gion.

“To date, 34 peo­ple have died in south­ern Siberia,” Emer­gen­cies Min­is­ter Vladimir Puchkov told Putin in a meet­ing to ad­dress the dis­as­ter. An­other 77 were hos­pi­tal­ized, some with se­ri­ous burns.

The min­is­ter blamed farm­ers for set­ting dry grass alight, with weather con­di­tions caus­ing the fire to spread across sev­eral mas- sive ar­eas in re­cent weeks.

The fires have de­stroyed about 2,000 homes, Putin said, as he an­nounced fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for those af­fected, pledg­ing their houses would be re­built by Septem­ber.

He also warned would be meted out.

“We have to see who was in charge of what and what they have to be held re­spon­si­ble for,” Putin told a group of res­i­dents who had lost their homes.

“If some­one is guilty of some­thing, they must an­swer for it.”



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