Heavy rains leave 13 dead in Tajikistan


At least 13 people were killed after heavy rains lashed central Tajikistan, the latest natural disaster to hit the mountainous Central Asia country, the presidency said Monday.

According to a spokeswoman for the nation’s emergency ministry, the deaths happened in regions just south and east of the capital Dushanbe, where storms on Sunday had triggered “mudslides, falling rocks, and landslides” in about a dozen districts.

In a brief statement, the office of President Emomali Rahmon said that a natural disaster that occurred on Sunday as a result of the heavy rains claimed the lives of 13 individuals, including 11 in Vahdat and 2 in the Rudaki area.

Risks of further landslides “remain high”, the ministry spokeswoman said.

Tajikistan, the poorest of ex-Soviet nations in Central Asia, is vulnerable to natural catastrophes.

In February, dozens of avalanches as well as landslides and rockfalls struck Upper Badakhshan, an autonomous region in the south bordering Afghanistan, China and Kyrgyzstan that is surrounded by the Pamir Mountains.

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