Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev will visit the village of Kara-Taryk on Tuesday. The village in the Uzgen district of the Osh region in the southern part of the country was struck by a landslide on April 20.
"During a working trip to the southern part of the country, Akaev will see the rescue operation in progress in Kara-Taryk and will find out how the locals resettled from the possible disaster area are being provided with vital necessities," the presidential press service told Interfax.
The landslide accumulated a volume of 1.5 million cubic meters and hit Kara-Taryk at 3:45 p.m. local time on Sunday, burying 11 houses in which 38 villagers may have been at that time,… including 17 children…
Sixty rescuers have so far managed to uncover four bodies. The residents of another 19 houses have been evacuated from the village.
The landslide was caused by heavy rains, said Anarkul Aitaliyev, the director of the Kyrgyz Emergencies Ministry's monitoring department. "We have been anticipating a possible disaster in this region since 1994, but the villagers refused to move out. Three days before the tragedy, our specialists warned the district authorities and the population about a possible landslide," Aitaliyev said. Similar landslides are threatening another five districts in the south of the country, and the Emergencies Ministry is taking precautionary measures, he said.
"The Russian Emergencies Ministry has offered humanitarian aid in the form of prefabricated frame-and-panel houses for the survivors," he said.
Rescuers have …evacuated 58 families from areas of possible disasters. A special tent camp has been set up for them, electricity and water are being supplied and hot food has been delivered," it said.
The Russian Emergencies Ministry, the U.S. Embassy, and the UN Development Program (UNDP) have pledged to provide humanitarian aid for the victims.
Interfax, April 21-22, 2003