Seven children among 49 people drowned across Russia on Saturday

(Reuters) – Seven children were among 49 people who drowned in waters across Russia on Saturday as scorching heat blankets large swaths of the country, the Ministry for Emergency Situations said on Sunday.

“A total of 65 incidents were registered on the country’s water bodies over the past 24 hours – 49 people died,” the ministry said on the Telegram messaging app.

That is 10 more drowning incidents that on the same day a year ago, Russia’s RIA state news agency reported.

Over the past week, Russians braved some of the hottest weather seen in more than a century, with Moscow breaking a 1917 record and cities across the world’s biggest country sizzling in temperatures well above 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit).

Russia’s Service for Hydrometeorology said on Friday on its website that abnormal, sweltering heat was expected across most of the south of European parts of Russia over the weekend, with temperatures rising in some places above 40 degrees Celsius 104 Fahrenheit).

In the Nizhny Novgorod region in central Russia, a 10-year-old girl drowned in the vast Volga River and her six-year-old sister disappeared, with divers still searching for her, the emergency ministry said.

In the Bashkiria region, which lies between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains, three people drowned, including a 16-year-old girl, the ministry said.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Michael Perry)

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