Address to Diplomatic Missions and International Organization

Very abnormal weather conditions have been observed in autumn and winter period in Tajikistan. High rain and snow precipitation by 140-170% above the usual norms fell in Tajikistan. Such a meteorological and hydrological situation causes huge water-born natural disasters. The snow resources as of today make 168% in Tajikistan, particularly in the basins of Zeravshan river – 322%, Vakhsh river – 148% and Pyanj – 156%.     

The majority of populated areas and roads in mountainous areas are at risk of avalanches, mudflows, landslides, floods and other natural disasters. According to the forecast of Hydrometeorological Administration precipitation in February will also be higher than the usual norm. This situation creates risk of natural disasters throughout the winter, spring and summer seasons.

We would like to inform the Diplomatic Missions and International Organizations accredited in Dushanbe that the snow avalanche in the East and North of Tajikistan on January 30 of this year caused human casualties and significant infrastructure destruction.

According to the information available so far, several cases of avalanche are registered on the highways of  Ishkoshim-Khorugh, Vahdat-Rasht-Jirgatol and particularly on Dushanbe-Khujand highway on January 28, 2017. Two people died in GBAO and the Dushanbe-Khujand highway is closed as a result of these disasters.

Some 200 vehicles got stuck in this highway. A local working group is established for evacuation of people and their delivery to safe areas. The measures undertaken on January 28-29, 2017 made it possible to evacuate about 800 people, 50 trucks and 150 small passenger cars. On the evening of January 29 the Emergency Committee Rescue Team extracted four bodies from the 150m deep cliff and one more body from a car under avalanche.

Six units of machinery are allocated for road cleaning, which have been actively operating from the two sides of the road.

Traffic Police and IRS Road Service Company Control Points are established at the avalanche site to ensure population’s safety.

The high tension situation remains on the highway of Dushanbe-Khorugh-Murghob, which is closed as a result of snow avalanche in the sections of Rushon and Shunghnon districts in GBAO. Emergency Staff operating 24-hours is established.

According to the information provided by the Emergency and Civil Defense Committee earlier, there is a probability of three to four dangerous avalanches in districts of GBAO, in the mountains of Hissor Chain, as well as on the highways of Dushanbe-Khujand, Dushanbe-Jirgatol, Khorugh-Murghob, and Khorugh -Ishkoshim on January 29-30, 2017.

The President of the Republic of Tajikistan has been directly controlling the process of emergency care to the victims. By the instruction of Mr President a special emergency working group comprised of the heads of relevant ministry and agency and local executive authorities is established, which has been engaged in revealing the number of casualties and destructions as well as providing aid to victims.

Rescue and preventive activities require huge financial resources, first and foremost relevant machinery and equipment, construction materials, fuel, food products, medicines and medical equipment, construction of galleries, embankment activities and anti-avalanche and mudslide facilities.

The Government of the Republic of Tajikistan has been undertaking measures for elimination of the natural disaster consequences. Emergency care has been provided to the extent possible and the process of rehabilitation of the destructed infrastructure in the suffered districts is started.

Given the existing experience of cooperation between the Republic of Tajikistan and the diplomatic missions and international organizations in emergency situations, we hope to comprehensive support of Development Partners in liquidation of this natural disaster consequences.