Dust storm cuts Kazakhstan's Aktau off water and electricity11 august 2014, 15:56
A severe dust storm has left Aktau citing in western Kazakhstan without water and electricity, Tengrinews reports citing Aktau Business. The disaster hit the city in Mangistau Oblast on Sunday, August 10.
The city is located on the shore of the Caspian Sea, in the middle of a desert with a harsh hot climate and no immediately available fresh water. Mangistau atomic energy complex MAEC-Kazatomprom is the only source of electricity, heat and water for the city of Aktau and the surrounding towns and villages. The water is produced by desalination and distillation of salty water from the Caspian Sea.
The dust storm caused a failure at the central power line leaving around 200 thousand citizens cut off from electricity. After that water supply stopped too – both drinking and technical water.
The lower parts of the city were the first to suffer from losing the benefits of civilization. The same fate befell upon the rest of Aktau shortly after.
The nature forced the residents to buy bottled drinking water in large quantities in shops. This created a deficient and long queues. Some families even took turns in supermarkets and stood there long into the night, buying up all the available water.
The electricity supply was restored in the evening of the same day. However, restoring the water supply requires time. Technical water is already available in some parts of the city, but drinking water is a problem. Freshening takes time and the residents will have to wait for the process to kick in.
“Water is already supplied to some districts, but only the water for general use. The residents of the city need to wait a little longer for drinking water supplies to resume. We are advising Aktau residents not to panic and remain calm," MAEC-Kazatomprom spokesman Kolkanat Nurzhaubayuly said.
Writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina