DUSHANBE, February 24, 2009, Asia-Plus  -- Heavy snows in mountain areas on February 22-23 caused avalanches that blocked in several places the main highways from Dushanbe to the Sughd province and Gorno Badakhshan, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC).

The source at a MoTC, in particular, noted that avalanches on February 23 blocked the main highway from Dushanbe to Khujand on the 48th, 70th, 185th and 189th kilometers.  The Anzob tunnel linking Dushanbe to northern Tajikistan is still closed for traffic.

Besides, avalanches caused by heavy snows blocked the main highway from Dushanbe to Khorog, regional center of Gorno Badakhshan on the 411th (Darvoz district) and 489th (Rushan district) kilometers, the source said.

He assured that the majority of roads would be cleared of snow by today’s evening.  According to him, warm temperatures have increased the risk of further avalanches in the country.  Avalanches may occur in mountain areas next month, the source said.

The Committee for Emergency Situations (CES) says no casualties or serious damage have been reported.