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Avalanches kill seven in Tajikistan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A view of Anzob Pass, a high mountain pass located northwest of Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe (file photo)

A series of avalanches in Tajikistan have killed at least seven people, according to authorities, who say the casualties could rise.

Avalanches killed least five people on a highway linking the capital, Dushanbe, with the country’s second-largest city, Khujand, the emergency services committee said on Monday. The committee said two more people were also killed when avalanches hit the remote Pamir region in the country’s east.

According to the committee, around 800 people had been evacuated after the incidents and rescue operations were underway.

Authorities have called on people, including visitors to the country, to avoid traveling to the areas with the risk of further avalanches.

Tajikistan, with mountains accounting for 93 percent of its land area, is prone to avalanches due to severe weather conditions and heavy snowfalls during winters. It also faces other natural disasters such as earthquake and landslides.

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