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Russian Emergencies Ministry saved more than 1.5 mln lives over 5 years

Over 1,800 emergency situations have been cleaned up and mitigated, according to the emergency minister

MOSCOW, February 7. /TASS/. The employees of Russia’s Emergency Ministry have rescued more than 1.5 million people over the past 5 years when tackling the aftermath of emergency situations, Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said on Wednesday at a meeting sizing up the work of the Single State Emergency Management System’s implementation of civil defense measures in 2017 and laying out its objectives for 2018.

"Over the past five years, there has been a step in the right direction on fire safety and protecting the public and territories from emergencies. In a short time, over 1,800 emergency situations have been cleaned up and mitigated while more than 1.5 million people have been rescued," Puchkov stressed.

He also noted that over the same period, the number of fires caused by people in Russia has dropped 20%, and the death toll from these disasters has declined by a quarter. Based on the figures, 887,000 manmade fires have been extinguished. The number of injured people from these blazes has fallen 19%.

"In 2017, the ministry cleared up 257 emergencies, extinguished more than 132,000 man-made fires, and rescued more than 224,000 people. The number of emergencies on bodies of water descended 17.6%," the minister noted.

According to the official, the federal and regional budgets annually allocate financial resources to citizens impacted by emergencies.

"More than 40 billion rubles were earmarked from Russia’s Reserve Fund. Over 700,000 people received financial assistance, more than 2,700 families got apartments and houses under the state program of housing certificates," the minister said.

He also recalled that over these years rescuers had been called in for more than 833,000 traffic incidents, where they rescued more than 825,000 people.

"Pyrotechnic units detected and destroyed more than 373,000 explosive items, including over 4,500 bombs dating back to the Second World War. Military mine-rescuing units solved 180 emergencies and rescued over 10,000 people," the minister said.