Weather forecasters said on Tuesday that the deadly heatwave that sparked wildfires around Moscow will go on for at least ten more days.
The daily mortality rate is up from 360 to 700, although the number of deaths directly attributed to the smog remains at 52.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday summoned Moscow’s Mayor Yuri Luzhkovto an emergency meeting to discuss the disaster.
Lushov controversially left the city last week to go on holiday.
Meanwhile, economists quoted by the Reuters news agency on Tuesday said the crisis could cost Russia’s economy some 10 billion euros this year.
The analysts said this is due to lower exports of agricultural crops, which have been parched by the heat, and lower levels of productivity.