The threat of devastating flooding reportedly past in Gorno Badakhshan

20/07/2015 10:31
Asia-Plu
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DUSHABE, July 20, 2015, Asia-Plus – The threat of devastating flooding in the Shugnan district of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) is reportedly past.

An official source at the GBAO regional administration told Asia-Plus yesterday evening that the water level in an artificial lake that was created as a result of blockage of the Ghund River has come down.

According to the preliminary assessment, damage caused by the mudflow is reportedly estimated at 20 million somoni.

We will recall that severe mudflows triggered by glacial melt amid abnormally hot weather in the country affected the villages of Barsem, Berdibekobod and Kolkhozobod in the Shugnan district of Gorno Badakhshan Thursday afternoon.

Fifty-six houses were destroyed completely and dozens of residential buildings were damaged partially.  Mudflows also destroyed four bridges, two kilometers of road and four kilometers of overhead power transmission lines in the Shugnan district.

Fortunately, there were no casualties among the population.

The severe mudflow carrying with it the mass of slurry, huge rocks and uprooted trees formed a giant dam blocking the Ghund River and creating an artificial lake.  The river returned back and the water was approaching the village of Tang, where the Pamir-1 hydroelectric power plant (HPP) is located.

Two units of the Pamir-1 HPP and units of the Khorog HPP supplying electricity to the part of the Shugnan district, Khorog, the Roshtqala district, the part of the Ishkashim district and the part of the Rushan district have been switched off and these areas have been left without power.

Saturday morning, the water reportedly broke through the dam in some places carrying slurry and house wrecks downstream.

Local authorities have warned of threat of flood in Khorog and residents of houses along the river are advised to move to safer sites.

Senior representatives of the Committee for Emergency Situations and Civil Defense (CES) under the Government of Tajikistan are in the region and closely monitoring the situation, which remains serious.

Electricity supplies to the city of Khorog were reportedly resumed yesterday.

According to the UN country team report, more that 56 houses in nearby communities destroyed with about 10,000 evacuated to safer sites.  Schools, local stores, roads and electricity lines damaged.  Water, food and non-food items are among the highest priority needs for about 1,100 affected people.

Meanwhile, local residents say one more mudflow occurred today early in the morning, at 1:00 am.       

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