Despite its reputation, Russia is not always snowy and cold. In fact, a broiling heat wave is suffocating Moscow, doubling the capital’s daily death toll from 360 to "around 700," according to chief city health official Andrei Seltsovsky. The combination of the heat (temperatures have reached 90 degrees in the area) and smoke from nearby forest fires has caused the morgues to reach their capacity—and then some. Hospitals are turning away any non-emergencies, and many patients are simply going home. Some citizens say that the government is attempting to downplay the effects of the smoke by focusing solely on the exceptional temperatures as the reason for the higher mortality numbers. Said Seltsovsky: "Everybody thinks we’re making secrets out of it," adding: "Abroad, people drown like flies, and no one asks questions.” Fear of the smoke inhalation's effects has prompted an exodus of sorts, with many Moscow residents fleeing to its northern neighbor St. Petersburg.