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Strong mudflows expected in Azerbaijan

25 July 2014 [09:25] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

Azerbaijan is expected to be hit by extremely strong mudflows before autumn.

Deputy Director of Azerbaijan's Institute of Geography Elbrus Alizade said in 2014 Azerbaijan had less precipitation in comparison with previous years.

So far, no landslide has been reported in Azerbaijan. Landslides usually are reported in spring and autumn.

Alizade said that prolonged drought causes mudflows in the mountainous areas. This has created very favorable conditions for mudslides this year.

"Usually heavy rains fall after such a long drought. Institute of Geography reported in April that the year will be arid and there is a great threat of mudslides. Unfortunately, our prediction is reasonable," he said.

"Prior to the beginning of autumn, very strong mudslides can occur in Azerbaijan," Alizade said.

The information obtained by the institute shows that at present many materials have been accumulated in the mountainous areas especially in the middle and high mountains - on the southern slope of the Greater Caucasus.

The presence of these materials is already a potential threat. Just a brief heavy rain is enough for a strong mudflow.

"Torrents are most likely on the rivers Shinchay, Demiraparan, in the valleys of rivers Tikanlychay, Girdimanchay, Kishchay and Agsuchay," the scientist said.

The risk of floods exists on the northeastern slope of the Lesser Caucasus in the valley of Zeyemchay in Gadabay, Shamkir, Tovuz, Geygel regions and in the valleys of Shamkirchay and Kurekchay.

Moreover, the northeastern slope of the Greater Caucasus is also endangered. Mudflow danger exists in the valleys of Gusarchay, Gudyalchay, Velvelechay, Gilgilchay and Atachay.

A very high dynamics is also observed in the rivers of Nakhchivan. Recent climatic fluctuations and low rainfall now have led to accumulation of many materials ready to shift in the valleys Gulgulchay and Gilanchay.

Alizade added the residents of the endangered areas should brace themselves for these incidents.

According to the National Hydrometeorology Department of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, currently, water richness holds 50-70 percent of decade norm in rivers of Quba-Khachmaz region, rivers of Greater Caucasus, 50-130 percent in Lesser Caucasus rivers, 50-90 percent in Lankaran-Astara region rivers, and 110 percent in the rivers of Nakhchivan.

As for July 24, the weather is chiefly rainless and hot with south wind mainly in mountainous areas. However, short- term rain is also predicted in the regions of the country.

An abnormal hot and dry weather is also expected in Azerbaijan that will negatively affect crop harvest across the country.
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