DUSHANBE, April 21, 2009, Asia-Plus  -- Over the first three months of this year, 57 natural disasters have been reported in Tajikistan, the head of the Committee for Emergency Situations (CES), Lieutenant-General Khaybullo Latipov, announced at a news conference in Dushanbe on April 20.

According to him, the disasters have left eight dead and damage caused by them to the country’s economy has amounted to 1.0317 million somoni.  Damage caused the country’s economy by last year’s natural disasters amounted to 32,598,800 somoni, he said.

In January-March 2009, the natural disasters have damaged 218 residential buildings; 67 of them have been destroyed completely. 

“This year, the worst hit area was Gorno Badakhshan, where the disasters caused 700,000 somoni worth of damage to the region’s economy,” said the CES head, “In the Rasht Valley (eastern Tajikistan), damage caused by the natural disasters over the report period has amounted to 247,600 somoni, and in the Khatlon province – 85,000 somoni.”

Latipov noted they have taken measures to provide the committee with skilled personnel.  “Under the program to develop the emergency response system in the country designed for 2009-2014, the Faculty of Protection in Emergency Situations has been established at the Academy of the Ministry of Interior and the first 25 students will be accepted already this year,” he said.