Damaging mudflow in Almaty Oblast, photos and videos leaked online19 july 2014, 01:28
A river near Almaty got out of control on July 17 at 1 p.m. The water was speeding downhill at 40 cubic meters per second rolling stones and damaging cars and buildings along its way, Tengrinews reports.
The Talgar River is a small mountain river fed by glaciers. Its normal average flow rate is 10.6 cubic meters per second. There are no villages along the river, only several small households.
Since the flow intensified quite suddenly everyone thought that the dam located higher up the river gave way.
Photos and videos of a mudflow in Talgar District of Almaty Oblast flooded YouTube and Instagram. According to eyewitnesses, the strong current of loudly rumbling dirty water and stones destroyed cars and first floors of buildings crushing windows and doors. There were no casualties.
This video shows the mudflow wave rolling down the river.
Police sealed off the area after the incidents and blocked nearby roads to prevent people from accessing the dangerous area. They did not let journalists through to see the dam on July 18. But the journalists could clearly see that the level of the Talgar river was significantly higher that usually.
According to local residents the water level in the Talgar River peaked at 1.5 above it normal level on July 17. Households located near the river were on the verge of getting flooded and stoned by the river, but the danger past most of them mere centimetres away. There is still no exact information on the damage caused by the mudflow.
Local residents said that the water level had not raise again after the July 17 emergency.
In the meanwhile, representatives of the Emergency Department of Almaty Oblast kept insisting that there was no mudflood, only a rise in the water level caused by melting of glaciers, and that the dam was intact and in its place. They said that water was flowing over the dam, but it stood. They did not confirm that any damage was done and said that local residents were out of danger.
However, locals are beating the alarm and posting pictures of damage on Instagram. Timirlan Dzaurov posted a photo on his Instagram account and wrote: “We have had a mudflow in the mountains. The first floor was destroyed. The corridor was flooded up to the waist level, doors knocked out and window broken. Luckly, there were no children in the summer camp by the river this year”. Children’s summer camp Raduga was closed down this year.
These three video show the aftermath of the mud flood and the house standing window-sill-deed in the warp brought by the mudflood.
Writing by Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina