Damage caused by avalanches to energy facilities in the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) has been estimated at 1.7 million somonis.

Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Sorbon Kholmuhammadzoda, stated this in GBAO’s capital, Khorog, on February 21 at a meeting to discuss measures to eliminate disaster consequences in the area.  

“Despite the timely elimination of accident consequences, recurring avalanches lead to blackout in some districts of the region,” GBAO government’s press center cited Kholmuhammadzoda as saying.  

“The work on eliminating consequences of accidents in the region’s power supply system is under way," the deputy minister of energy and water resources said.  

It was noted during the meeting that the Agency for Material Reserves under the Government of Tajikistan has been instructed to allocate 10 tons of diesel fuel to the Ministry of Transport and 5 tons of diesel fuel to the avalanche-hit districts of the GBAO.   

Besides, the head of the Committee for Architecture and Construction under the Government of Tajikistan Nizom Mirzozoda has bene instructed to develop as soon as possible the project for the restoration of affected houses and submit it for approval to the government.

Recall, Prime Minister Qohir Rasoulzoda, heading a government delegation, arrived in Khorog on February 20.

The delegation members reportedly include a number of high-ranking officials, including the Security Council Secretary Nasrullo Mahmoudzoda, the Emergencies Committee Chairman Rustam Nazarzoda and Minister of Industry and New Technologies Sherali Kabir, who is Government’s Representative in GBAO’s capital, Khorog.        

The delegation members have got acquainted with the progress of work to eliminate the avalanche consequences.

After getting acquainted with the progress of the work, the prime minister instructed relevant bodies and agencies to construct houses to those left homeless. 

The delegation members reportedly also visited in a hospital people injured by the February 15 avalanche.  

They also met with Khorog residents and handed over aid to all those who had been hit by the avalanche,  

As it had been reported earlier, avalanches in the GBAO claimed at least 18 lives as of the morning of February 18, including 15 in Khorog, one in Shugnan district and two in Vanj district.  The dead reportedly are known to include two children, three schoolchildren and nine students.

According to the Emergencies Committee spokeswoman, 44 avalanches came down in territories of Darvoz, Vanj, Rushan, Shugnan, Roshtqala and Ishkashim districts of the GBAO on February 16 alone.

On February 21, 38 avalanches reportedly came down in Rushan district alone

Families of those killed by avalanches in the GBAO will receive financial aid in the amount of 40,000 somonis each and people injured by avalanches will receive 10,000 somonis in financial aid each.   

The Emergencies Committee warns that warmer temperatures have increased the risk of further avalanches and mudslides in the country and advises people not to travel to mountain areas unnecessarily.

According to data from the Hydrometeorology Agency (Hydromet), the threat of avalanches, mudslides, rockfalls and landslides will remain in the country until February 23.  

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