This message is to alert American citizens to an unfolding natural disaster and State of Emergency in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO), including the city of Khorog. Accelerated snow and glacier melting caused by high temperatures during the first two weeks of July triggered dangerous mudslides and flooding on July 16, resulting in the destruction of at least 50 houses and one school.
Although power and water have been restored to Khorog as of July 18, the situation remains dangerous. The mudslides of July 16 blocked the Gund River, a tributary of the Panj, leading to the formation of a large lake of water 16 kilometers from Khorog near the village of Kolkhozobod. There is concern that the dam of mud and rock that is holding back this lake may give way as pressure behind it builds, particularly if there is additional rain and/or snow-melt. This could create significant flash flooding downriver, including in Khorog and as far as some districts in Khatlon region.
The Government of Tajikistan has declared a State of Emergency in GBAO, and the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe is canceling some official travel to the region. We strongly urge non-official Americans to delay all non-essential travel to GBAO until the risk of flooding has abated. Americans currently residing, working, or traveling in GBAO should exercise an abundance of caution in the affected areas, and closely monitor the situation for further developments. Americans in need of emergency assistance should contact the U.S. Embassy at 992-37-229-2000.
U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State’s, Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found. The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review “A Safe Trip Abroad,” which includes valuable security information for those living and traveling abroad.
Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. You can also download our free Smart Traveler App available through iTunes and the Android market to have travel information at your fingertips. In addition to information on the internet, travelers may obtain the latest information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
The U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan can be reached 24/7 at 992-37-229-2000. The Consular Section can be reached directly at 992-37-229-2300. Non-emergency services for U.S. citizens: Mon, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Tue – Fri, 2 – 4 p.m. In the event of emergency, you may reach the Duty Officer at 992-98-580-1032. You may also reach the Consular Officer via the Embassy main phone number: 992-37-229-2000.
Contact information for the U.S. Embassy Dushanbe is as follows: