DUSHANBE, January 26, 2011, Asia-Plus // -- Natural disasters that hit Tajikistan in 2010 left 61 dead, the head of the Committee for Emergency Situations (CES) Khaybullo Latipov told a news conference in Dushanbe on January 26.

According to him, 236 natural disasters were registered in the country last year.  4,425 residential buildings were affected.  646 houses were destroyed to the extent of being unsuitable for living.

Damage caused by natural disasters to the country last year is estimated at nearly 519 million somoni, Latipov said.

The CES head noted that they were experiencing shortage of skilled personnel and special equipment for carrying out search-and-rescue operations.

“The national budget for 2011 earmarked 5 million somoni for our committee and one million somoni will be used for purchasing search-and-rescue equipment,” he said.