Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan – Thousands Evacuate After Dam Fails

Over 70,000 people have evacuated their homes in border areas of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan after a reservoir dam failed.

The Syr Darya river, which runs near the border between the two countries, overflowed after the Sardoba Reservoir Dam on the Uzbek side broke in the early hours of 01 May, 2020. The government said the dam failed after heavy rain and strong winds.

About 70,000 people from 22 villages in Syrdarya region, Uzbekistan were evacuated. The government said those displaced were moved to safe districts and provided with shelter and food. Over 50 people were injured and taken to hospital but no fatalities were reported. President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited affected areas on 01 May.

On the Kazakhstan side of the border, around 5,400 people were evacuated from villages in Maktaaral district, Turkestan province.

As of 01 May, the Uzbek government said it had managed to reduce the flow of water and divert it to the Abay Canal in Oqoltin district and from there to Arnasay Lake of Jizzakh region.

Just a few days ago a severe storm caused major damage in Bukhara in Uzbekistan, leaving 1 person dead and over 5,000 buildings damaged.

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