DUSHANBE, July 20, 201, Asia-Plus  -- 195 natural disasters that have hit Tajikistan over the first six months of this year have left 49 dead in the country, the head of the Committee for Emergency Situations (CES), Khaibullo Latipov, announced at a news conference in Dushanbe on July 20.

According to him, 151 natural disasters reported in the country in the same period last year killed 45 people.

“3,844 residential buildings have been affected by natural disasters registered in January-June 2010 and damage caused by them has been preliminarily estimated at 230.889 million somoni (equivalent to more than 52 million U.S. dollars),” Latipov said, noting that natural disasters have hit more than 40 areas in the country over the report period.

As a result of an earthquake of medium strength that jolted Vanj district in Gorno Badakhshan on January 2 this year, 1,283 houses were affected, the CES head said.  135 houses were destroyed to the extent of being unsuitable for living.  The most severely hit villages in the district were Uskrogh, Punichuguni, Paishanbeobod and the administrative center of Vanj district.  Construction of 129 houses for the quake-affected people is under way, he added.

Latipov also noted that the flood that hit the city of Kulob on the night of May 6-7 this year killed 13 people.  More than 500 residential buildings were affected; 269 of them were destroyed completely.  659 houses will be built in the city and the district of Kulob until the end of this year,” said he, “Besides, they will also construct new houses for disaster-affected people in Vose (42), Temourmalik (3), Baljuvon (8), Khovalig (3), Muminobod (10), Shuroobod (13), Shahritous (11) and Jilikul (5) districts until the end of this year.”  In all, 754 new houses are planned to be constructed for the disaster-affected people in Khatlon province, Latipov added.