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Kazakhstan: Bloggers claim lack of state aid to flood victims

After a mudflow killed dozens of people in the villages south-east of Kazakhstan on March 11, many fear that other dams across the country may cause much harsher disasters in case of bursting. This anxiety is aggravated by a continuing weather anomaly with unprecedentedly high level of precipitations. Blogger schriftsteller writes [ru]:

There are many obsolete and worn out dams in Kazakhstan, which can get destroyed, especially the cascade of dams and hydroelectric power stations on the Irtysh River. There is little time – literally, they have to race with floods.

Meanwhile, the Kazakhstanis collect money and articles of prime necessity for the victims of flood and suspect that the authorities intentionally underestimate the real scope of disaster. As Maks-Kazah writes [ru],

Why they don’t declare national mourning in the country? The tragedy in Kyzyl-Agash was caused by the negligence of the officials. Probably, this is the reason why they conceal the real number of casualties?

Lunaric has had a ride in a taxi with a cabman, who told a story of how he took the “Nur-Otan” [Kazakhstan's ruling party] functionaries to Kyzyl-Agash [ru]:

He told about a man, who asked for food. He saved himself and his son only because he left the village on the eve of the disaster […] and when he got back, his house was destroyed, his 70 year-old father, mother, wife and three daughters were dead. The taxi driver also told that the container with collected clothes for the flood victims still stands unpacked, because some officials decided that it's not the right time to give the stuff – and the collected money – away. He also told that the officials stayed overnight in specially deployed military camp with stoves, while the survivors are to sleep in semi-demolished houses…

Lord-fame keeps an eye on the Kyzyl-Agash disaster [ru]:

After the tragedy, the survivors had to walk to Taldy-Kurgan [administrative center of the province]. The local officials met them only near the airport. Now they are quartered in the dormitories, hotels and the airbase. There are no less that 50 kilometers from Kyzyl-Agash to Taldy-Kurgan. The authorities were extremely ineffective.

Journalists Timur Nusimbek and Sanat Urnaliev took a trip to the damaged area. That's what they saw [ru]:

This is Egen-su, one of the villages in the area, damaged by the dam burst on March 12. For more than a week these people are isolated from the civilization. They deliver food and water on their own, using horses. While we were there (since evening of March 18 until afternoon of March 19) no presence of the state authority or signs of state assistance to the victims were noticed.


Railway station


The village


There were pastures here until morning of March 12


The mudflow pulled out a part of railway together with the embankment.

Adam-Kesher reposted the journalists’ report. Thousand-pa comments [ru]:

The authorities demonstrate the same model of behavior every time they face with the disaster – more PR, less assistance. It looks like somebody in the government calculates that it would be more expedient for the state to build one shiny street on the site of disaster and show it on television. And let the victims reconstruct the rest. Anti-people logic, like many more in our domestic policy.

Xxrock adds [ru]:

This catastrophe is yet another proof of corrupted and stagnant power vertical in Kazakhstan.

Neruad keeps it short [ru]:

This winter showed the real picture of the “Kazakhstani economic miracle”. I will write a begger post later – now only indecent words come to my mind.

1 comment

  • […] bit out of date now, but Global Voices Online had an interesting post up reviewing the Lack of state aid to flood victims after two dams burst in Almaty […]

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