Avalanches kill at least 20 people in Tajikistan

A series of avalanches that hit eastern Tajikistan on Wednesday killed at least 15 people, the Central Asian nation’s government said on February 16.

The natural disaster has killed 10 more people, bringing the total death toll over the past two days to 20 and forcing hundreds of families from their homes.

The mayor of the provincial capital Khorog, Rizo Nazarzoda, urged its 30,000 residents to stay at home as heavy snow and rain keep falling in the region, causing further concerns.

Deadly snow

Most of the avalanches hit the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region, which borders China and Afghanistan. The initial death toll, on Wednesday, stood at 10 after an avalanche destroyed several buildings and roads in the provincial capital Khorog, killing nine people, and another one hit the town of Vanj, killing one person, the country’s emergencies committee reported.

The government later announced that all international traffic had been suspended.