More than 90,000 people have been evacuated in eastern Uzbekistan and in the south of neighbouring Kazakhstan after a 1 May breach in the Sardoba Dam on the Syr Darya river basin in Uzbekistan following heavy rainfall and high winds.
Around 70,000 people were evacuated from 22 Uzbek villages, and 22,000 residents in Kazakhstan’s Turkestan region as hundreds of houses were submerged, and agricultural regions flooded.
Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said all necessary steps will be taken to address the situation. Search and rescue operations have been launched, and intensive work undertaken to repair the dam.
The Uzbek state prosecutor said an inquiry had been launched into official negligence and construction rule violations, while there has been criticism from the Kazakhstan side about timeliness of information-sharing around the reservoir emergency. In response to the situation, Uzbekistan had opened sluices into irrigation canals resulting in flooding in Kazakhstan.
Two officers of Uzbekistan’s National Guard were swept away after the dam burst, one of whose bodies has been recovered.