Tajikistan says eight killed in landslides
Tajikistan's government said Wednesday that eight people had died and many properties were devastated in landslides in different parts of the country following heavy rainfall.
Fatal landsides affect mountainous Central Asian Tajikistan every year around springtime, blocking off important roads in a country lacking transport infrastructure and forcing families to rebuild homes from scratch.
The southern Khatlon region was worst affected by the latest landslides that struck on Tuesday, with three people dying in the provincial city of Kulyab, according to the country's emergencies committee.
Most of the victims of died whilst travelling in vehicles, the committee said, noting that one of them was a child born in 2011.
The landslides also affected rural districts surrounding the capital Dushanbe.
One man from a village not far from the capital died whilst grazing livestock, "despite repeated warnings from the committee (not to) graze livestock on such days," the committee said.
The landslides caused damage to "residential buildings, household plots, arable land" and destroyed auxiliary structures and eroded roadways, according to the committee, which did not provide an overall figure for the number of buildings damaged.
More than 90 percent of Tajikistan -- an impoverished majority Muslim country of 9.5 million people that borders Afghanistan -- is covered by mountains.