One Dead and Six Missing in Turkmenistan Mudslides


One soldier has been killed and six are missing during mudslides caused by recent heavy rains in Turkmenistan. It is being reported that the man died at the Serakhs border outpost in Akhal province.

“On May 17, around 17:00 hours, seven soldiers from the 16-border outpost of the Border Troops connection in Serakhs [on the border with Iran] went missing. The body of one of them was found May 18. The searches for the other six soldiers continue,” an anonymous source commented.

“The search work is being carried out by the border troops’ forces of the adjacent territories,” the source said. Special means, such as drones or helicopters, are not involved in the search operations.

The source adds that on the day of the incident, the soldiers were sent to repair the automobile roads next to the military unit, which were washed away by mud-flows. The Turkmen government is trying to stop information about the incident from being published, and “it is dangerous to ask and inquire about the details”. But in conversations among themselves, servicemen are discussing that “sending soldiers in such weather to this area was a wrong decision and the cause of the accident was the negligence of the commanders and management of the border guard unit.”

“It was not possible to get comments on the disappearance of several soldiers and the death of at least one of them from the Turkmen authorities, including the aforementioned military unit,” the source notes.

For almost ten days, Turkmenistan’s capital Ashgabat has been flooded with rain, in what local meteorologists think have been the worst downpours since the 1970s. The rain has caused significant damage to the city’s infrastructure.

The Akhal province has also been badly affected, with agricultural land flooded. Mud-flows hit the cities of Anev and Kahka, and in many areas electricity and part of the rail network were shut down. However, there have been no reports in Turkmen media about the rains and the damage they are causing.


Times of Central Asia

Askar Alimzhanov graduated from the journalism department of the Kazakh State University named after S. Kirov, then worked as a correspondent for the daily republican newspaper Leninskaya Smen. He then moved to the United States to be a reporter for the daily newspaper "Cape Cod Times" in Hayanis, Massachusetts, (USA) under the journalist exchange program between the Union of Journalists of the USSR and the New England Society of News Editors. Since then, he has helped build transparency and understanding of Central Asia region in various executive level positions at esteemed media organizations including "Akbar"(Alma-Ata) international center for journalism, the Khabar News agency, the Television and Radio Corporation "Kazakhstan" JSC, and MIR- Kazakhstan.

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