DUSHANBE, July 15, 2009, Asia-Plus  -- 151 natural disasters reported in Tajikistan over the first six months of this year have left 39 dead, Chairman of the Committee for Emergencies and Civil Defense Khaibullo Latipov announced at a press conference in Dushanbe on July 14.

According to him disasters have caused serious damage to the country’s economy.  “Some 2,500 residential buildings have been affected by disasters; 496 of them have been destroyed completely,” Latipov said, noting that damage caused by disasters to the country over the report period has been estimated at some 9.2 million somoni.

Landslides and mudflows that hit the country in April-May this year affected some 40 districts across the country.  The worst hit area was the Khuroson district in Khatlon province.

Heavy rains and mudflows in April 2009 affected the villages of 18th Partseyzdi Bolo, 18th Partseyzdi Poyon, and Halqajar, in the Ayni jamoat of the Khuroson district.  In May the heavy rains affected 153 houses of Khuroson district.

Disasters affected 229 houses in the Khuroson district in April-May; 132 of them have been destroyed completely, the head of the Tajik emergency committee said.  “40 new residential buildings have been constructed for the disaster victims in the Khuroson district so far, and construction of another 310 houses is under way,” he added.

He also noted that 43 people had drowned in the country as the swimming season had begun.