Barsem Disaster

Devastating mudflow leaves 620 people displaced and an entire town without electricity for 3 days.

July 16 2015, was the day that entire village of Barsem in Shugnan district of GBAO, Tajikistan would remember forever. On this day a massive mudflow washed away 50 houses and left 620 people displaced, seeking refuge in the nearest village.[1] This mudflow continued from 16th to 20th July 2015 and at least 14 debris flows occurred because of exceptional hot weather combined with exceptional rainfall. [2] The debris flow formed a natural dam blocking the Gunt river that formed a lake of about 2 km. The mudflow also broke up the Pamir Highways which is the main route for both trading and tourism in the region. For more than a month this main route was closed creating both economic and social problems. But the devastation does not end here as the mudflow also damaged electrical cables leading from the biggest power station that provides electricity for most of the Shugnan district and the capital city Khorog and resulted in loss of electricity for the entire 3 days.[2]