Natural Disasters

Unusually warm summers cause glacial melt in Tajikistan

Over 600 people have been displaced due to mud flows and floods caused by the glacial melt

By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Thursday 30 July 2015 | 13:10:20 PM
File photo of Shughnon in Tajikistan (Courtesy: Khwahan/Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0)
File photo of Shughnon in Tajikistan (Courtesy: Khwahan/Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0) File photo of Shughnon in Tajikistan (Courtesy: Khwahan/Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0)

Unusually high summer temperatures in the central Asian country of Tajikistan caused a glacial melt on July 16, resulting in mud flows and floods in a few parts of the country.

In a report published on July 28, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a Switzerland-based intergovernmental organisation with 157 member countries, said that 620 people are seeking refuge in camps in Manem. "Among the worst affected areas is Shughnon district in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO), a remote and mountainous area bordering Afghanistan," says the report.

A report published by London-based non-profit Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) on July 24 said that 10 people have died in the Badakhshan region and the government has been "too slow" in responding to the floods. "Seventy houses have been destroyed in Barsem, the worst affected of the settlements along the river Gund," said IWPR.

The situation is likely to get worse. According to IOM, mudflows are blocking the river Gund, creating an artificial dam which can burst and flood GBAO, putting the lives of 30,000 people at risk.

"President Imomali Rahmon has announced that families who have lost their homes will receive compensation of 10,000 somoni (US $1,600), while those whose houses have suffered some damage will be entitled to 6,000 somoni," says IWPR.

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