DUSHANBE/PANJAKENT, March 6, Asia-Plus -- A huge avalanche hit the Shahriston Pass in the Sughd province today morning.

According to Qurbonali Saidov, the head of the traffic safety directorate at the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC), the avalanche occurred on the 183rd kilometer of the highway from Dushanbe to Khujand, blocking the highway.  Fortunately no casualties were reported, the MoTC official said. 

Relevant sub-divisions of the ministry are working hard to mobilize bulldozers, trucks and work teams to clear the road, which is supposed to have been operational already by the evening, Saidov said.    

In the meantime, the Ayni emergencies chief Zafar Mirzoboshiyev told Asia-Plus that traffic via Shahriston Pass has been closed since yesterday. 

According to him, heavy snowfalls on March 5 blocked in some places the Dushanbe-Khujand highway and the districts of Kuhistoni Mastchoh, Ayni and Panjakent are currently cut off. No injured or cars trapped by today''s snow-slide on the Shahriston Pass were reported, according to him.  The work on cleaning the road is under way.  

Mirzoboshiyev also noted that heavy snowfalls also hit the area of the Anzob tunnel yesterday, blocking the highway.  People are being advised not to travel unnecessarily.