The highway connecting Dushanbe and the northern city of Khujand is still closed for traffic due to avalanche risk.  More than thirty snow-slides have reportedly hit the highway since yesterday. 

The Branch of the Innovative Road Solutions (IRS) in Tajikistan, which operates the toll on the Dushanbe-Chanak highway, says the highway connecting Dushanbe and Khujand has been closed for traffic since January 20.

More than thirty avalanches have reportedly hit the highway since yesterday.  The section of the highway from the 62nd to the 73rd kilometer (Varzob district) is the most dangerous section.   .

Heavy snowfall is continuing in some areas and the risk of further avalanches remains high, according the IRS press center.  

According to weather forecasters, heavy snowfall is expected in the majority of mountain areas of the country today and tomorrow the increases the risk of further avalanches. 

In this regard, the Committee on Emergency Situations and Civil Defense (CoES) under the Government of Tajikistan is advising citizens and guests of the country not to travel to mountain areas unnecessarily.  

Meanwhile, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reported on January 18 that at least five people were killed in snow-slides in Tajikistan last week.

A large avalanche killed 64-year-old Aqkrizobek Muzofirbekov and his 41-year-old son, Maftulbek Muzofirbekov, in the Ishkashim district of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) on January 17.  One more person was reportedly hospitalized with serious injuries.

Citing Emergencies Committee spokeswoman Umeda Yusufi, RFE/RL’s Tajik Service says three others were killed in avalanches in the region earlier last week with two more reported missing.

Recall, two residents of the village of Roghich, which is subordinate to the northern city of Panjakent -- the 20-year-old Maseho Orzouyev and the 30-year-old Abdushafi Tilloyev – were killed in an avalanche on January 14.   

Mountains cover 93 percent of the Central Asian nation, and avalanches and mudslides kill dozens of people every year.