At least eight people have been killed in snow avalanches in Tajikistan this month, according to the Emergencies Committee press center.

More than 110 snow-slides have been registered in the country since the beginning of the year and eight people have been killed in avalanches, Umeda Yusufi, a spokeswoman for the Emergencies Committee, told Asia-Plus in an interview. 

According to her, the Committee has set up mobile rescue teams numbering 4 to 6 people each to closely monitor the situation and ensure safety of traffic on the most vulnerable sections of the highways linking Dushanbe and Khujand (the 62nd and 72nd kilometers in the Varzob district) and Dushanbe and Khorog (the 457th kilometer in the Vanj district, GBAO).   

Besides, rescuers from the Emergencies Committee’s office in Rasht Valley (eastern Tajikistan) jointly with members of the Unified Disaster Warning System in the Rasht zone are closely monitoring the situation on the roads in the area, Yusufi said. 

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport says 64 road maintenance facilities now operate in the country.  They reportedly have totaling 951 special machines and equipment to clear roads of snow and debris, but only 609 of them are in working order.  Currently, 342 special machines are involved in clearing roads of snow and debris as well as in repairing the damaged sections of roads.  

The Hydrometeorology Agency (Hydromet) says the risk of further snow-slides and rockfalls remains high.  

Mountains cover 93 percent of Tajikistan, and avalanches and mudslides kill dozens of people every year.