Toll from heavy rains in Tajikistan rises to 21
August 30, 2023 09:50 PM
At least 21 people have died following torrential rains in Tajikistan, authorities said Wednesday, the latest natural disaster to hit the mountainous Central Asian country.
The deaths were reported in three towns near the capital Dushanbe, after heavy rains on Sunday and Monday triggered flooding, landslides and mudflows.
A spokesperson from the committee for emergency situations told AFP that "there are 21 dead", up from a previous toll of 13 on Monday.
"There was a bridge and a dyke. The rain unleashed mudflows and swept everything away," resident Shukhrat Machidov told AFP near Vahdat, one of the stricken areas.
"School starts tomorrow, we have no roads, how are the 430 pupils going to be able to get to school?" he said as women and children crossed a river by using a tree placed over the water.
Jamshed Kamolzoda, a brigadier general at the emergency situations ministry, told AFP the government would restore damaged infrastructure like roads and bridges while giving out food and essentials.
Tajikistan, the poorest of the ex-Soviet nations in Central Asia, is vulnerable to natural disasters.
Mudflows represent around 40 percent of the incidents and cause deaths every year, said Kamolzoda.
In February, dozens of avalanches as well as landslides and rockfalls struck Upper Badakhshan, an autonomous region bordering Afghanistan, China and Kyrgyzstan that is surrounded by the Pamir Mountains.