DUSHANBE, January 30, Asia-Plus  -- 37 persons were killed in natural disasters in Tajikistan last year, Haybullo Latipov, the head of the Committee for Emergency Situations, announced at a press conference in Dushanbe on Tuesday.  

According to him, 111 emergency situations having natural character were reported in the country in 2007. 

Last year’s natural disasters caused serious damage to Tajikistan’s economy, the CES head said.  More than 5,700 residential buildings were damaged by natural disasters; 664 pf them were destroyed completely.

Latipov said that a total damage caused to the country by last year’s disasters had amounted to some 70.5 million somonis.  

“The government provided more than 2 million somonis to support disaster-hit population,” said Latipov, “Besides, 11,400 somonis were provided in extraordinary grants to families of those who were killed in natural disasters in 2006-2007.” 

 The CES head noted that technical equipment of rescue services leaves much to be desired.  Last year, some 2.5 million somonis were provided to the committee for purchasing new technical equipment.  The other serious problem is shortage of skilled personnel, according to him.