Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Flooding in Khorog Area

This message is to update U.S. citizens on the unfolding natural disaster and State of Emergency in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO), including the city of Khorog.  On July 18-19, high temperatures and rapid snow and glacier melting triggered flooding and mudslides, which have destroyed a great deal of infrastructure, commercial property, and households in the region.

Four persons have died as a result of the disaster over the past 24 hours, and over 1,000 people have been displaced.  In addition, a mudslide has blocked the M41 Pamir Highway between Khorog and Darvaz.  The road between Khorog and Murghob remains impassable.  Although the situation is stable, blocked rivers and additional mudslides threaten to flood the regional capital of Khorog and nearby communities.  The situation remains extremely dangerous.

The weather conditions that have led to this disaster are expected to continue well into August.  The United States Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens who have the ability to do so leave Khorog as soon as possible, by any safe means.  The Embassy is hopeful that weather conditions will permit Tajik Air to resume limited service from Khorog airport, and U.S. citizens are advised to check with the air carrier on flight availability.

In addition, mudslides and flooding have been reported in the Rasht Valley, blocking some roads and displacing more than 60 families.  Official travel to the area has been canceled, and U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to avoid non-essential travel to the area.