ASTANA (Reuters) - The number of victims of last week’s flood that destroyed a village near Kazakh financial hub Almaty has risen to 37, a deputy prime minister said Tuesday.
“According to the preliminary data of the Emergencies Ministry, 37 bodies have been recovered already,” Aset Isekeshev told a government meeting. The previous toll was 34.
Eager to show decisive leadership at a time of economic hardship, President Nursultan Nazarbayev has ordered the government to investigate the rupture Friday of a dam, and bring to justice those responsible.
In a statement issued after Nazarbayev’s order, the interior ministry said it had detained five officials including the mayor of Kyzyl-Agash, a village which was completely destroyed when the nearby dam burst, flooding hilly pastures north of Almaty.
Spring flooding is a frequent occurrence in Central Asia but a sudden rise in temperatures following weeks of heavy snow storms has exacerbated the problem this year. (Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov)