Shoigu's reports attach priority to search-and-rescue operations.
Eight people were killed and 20 more wounded as a result of an apartment-house blast in Arkhangelsk, reports the municipal rescue service.
The Emergency Situations Ministry estimates that about 50 people might still be trapped under the rubble.
Cynologists and specially trained dogs are now moving across the rubble, as they try to locate the people beneath. Rescue workers are doing their best to find persons inside empty spaces below crumpled apartment-house panels.
Rescue workers are sifting through the rubble because it would be dangerous to use heavy-duty equipment. Everyone falls silent every 30 minutes, trying to hear the voices of those trapped, an Emergency Situations Ministry spokesperson noted.
The apartment house exploded at about 3.26 a.m. Moscow time, with one of its sections collapsing as a result. The blast was presumably caused by natural gas.