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Bad Weather Continues To Plague Eastern Kazakhstan

ASTANA -- Several highways and minor roads in parts of the Qaraghandy and Eastern Kazakhstan oblasts are closed today due to blizzard conditions, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The Kazakh Emergency Situations Ministry said that since midday March 28, the highway from Qaraghandy to Aqsu-Ayuly has been closed.

The highway connecting Oskemen -- the capital of Eastern Kazkahstan Oblast -- with Almaty has been closed since late on March 28.

Several roads in the region are also blocked due to inclement weather.

Meanwhile, in other parts of eastern Kazakhstan, melting snow combined with rain has caused floods that damaged nearly 2,000 homes in the past two weeks.

Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast Governor Berdibek Saparbaev said today that more than 50,000 head of livestock have been killed by the flood waters and thousands of people have been evacuated.

One of the country's largest regions, the Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast is 283,300 square kilometers and has a population of some 1.5 million people.