A three-week heat-wave expected to hit a record high of 37 C this weekend is being blamed for hundreds of drowning deaths in Russia. More than 1,200 people have drowned this year, 233 of them between July 5 and 12. Yesterday, 49 people drowned. Alcohol was a factor in most of these deaths, a spokesman for Russia’s Emergency ministry said in a news conference. “The majority of those drowned were drunk. The children died because adults simply did not look after them.” The worst drought in 130 years is also destroying the major ingredient in the vodka beach-goers are imbibing. In response, the government imposed a state of emergency in 16 regions where the heat destroyed grains in an area the size of Portugal.