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Tajik Floods Kill 20 In Kulob

Floodwaters in Kulob
Floodwaters in Kulob
KULOB, Tajikistan -- Strong rains have caused floods that have killed at least 20 people in the Kulob area of the southern Tajik province of Khatlon, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Tajik rescue services reported on May 6 that the Tebalay River breeched its banks overnight in Kulob, leaving many people unable to reach higher ground. Authorities found 15 bodies in Kulob and five more in the Shuroobod district near the bank of the Tebalay River.

More than a dozen people are missing, RFE/RL reports. Many of the bridges in Kulob have been damaged or destroyed and people living in some parts of the city suffered severe damage to their homes.

Authorities said dozens of buildings, roads, telephone lines, and other infrastructure in Khatlon's Shuroobod, Muminobod, and Vose disticts have also been destroyed.

Many people were stranded on the roofs of their houses waiting for emergency teams to rescue them by helicopter.

Mirzoali Miraliev, the head of Kulob's Health Ministry, said that some 50 people were treated for injuries on May 7.

Military units from the Russian base in Kulob took part in the rescue operation and offered their armored vehicles to help transport victims to safer areas.