Aral, Kazakhstan

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This article is about the city in Kazakhstan. For other uses, see Aral (disambiguation).
Aral
Арал
Skyline of Aral
Aral is located in Kazakhstan
Aral
Aral
Location in Kazakhstan
Coordinates: 46°47′0″N 61°40′0″E / 46.78333°N 61.66667°E / 46.78333; 61.66667
Country  Kazakhstan
Province Kyzylorda
Population (2009)[1]
 • Total 29,987
Square in Aral
What used to be the harbour of Aral.

Aral, also known as Aralsk or Aral'sk, (Kazakh: Арал, Russian: Аральск) Coordinates: 46°47′N 61°40′E / 46.783°N 61.667°E / 46.783; 61.667 is a small city in south-western Kazakhstan, located in the oblast (region) of Kyzylorda. It serves as the administrative center of Aral District. Aral was formerly a fishing port and harbour city on the banks of the Aral Sea, and was a major supplier of fish to the neighboring region. Population: 29,987 (2009 Census results);[1] 30,347 (1999 Census results).[1]

History[edit]

Early settlement[edit]

Decline[edit]

Since the retreat of the Aral Sea since 1960, due to diversion of the rivers flowing into it for irrigation, mainly of cotton, during the Soviet era, Aral is now completely landlocked about 12 km from the northern remnant of the Aral Sea, though this is less than the 100 km distance observed before the completion of a dam in 2005. Aral has greatly diminished in population and socioeconomic significance, resulting in high levels of unemployment. For the last 25 years it has not been possible to see the sea from the town. There are also serious health problems for the local population caused by airborne toxic chemicals[citation needed] exposed to the wind by the retreating waters and, possibly, from chemical and biological agents unsafely stored on the island of Vozrozhdeniya.

Aral smallpox incident[edit]

In 1971, a massive public health response to a smallpox outbreak in Aral ensued once the disease was recognized as resulting from release of weaponized smallpox from a nearby biological weapons test site. In less than 2 weeks, approximately 50,000 residents of Aral were vaccinated. Household quarantine of potentially exposed individuals was enacted, and hundreds were isolated in a makeshift facility at the edge of the city. All traffic in and out of the city was stopped, and approximately 54,000 square feet of living space and 18 metric tons of household goods were decontaminated by health officials. The original outbreak sickened ten people in Aral, of whom 3 died.[2]

Climate[edit]

Aral has a cold desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWk) with cold winters and hot summers.

Climate data for Aral
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 6.3
(43.3)
17.8
(64)
29.2
(84.6)
33.9
(93)
39.9
(103.8)
46.9
(116.4)
44.8
(112.6)
44.4
(111.9)
41.0
(105.8)
32.6
(90.7)
24.7
(76.5)
10.3
(50.5)
46.9
(116.4)
Average high °C (°F) −6.6
(20.1)
−5.1
(22.8)
3.7
(38.7)
17.7
(63.9)
25.7
(78.3)
32.3
(90.1)
34.2
(93.6)
32.4
(90.3)
25.2
(77.4)
15.4
(59.7)
4.1
(39.4)
−3.7
(25.3)
14.6
(58.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) −10.6
(12.9)
−9.6
(14.7)
−1.4
(29.5)
11.2
(52.2)
18.9
(66)
25.5
(77.9)
27.6
(81.7)
25.5
(77.9)
18.0
(64.4)
8.9
(48)
−0.4
(31.3)
−7.6
(18.3)
8.8
(47.8)
Average low °C (°F) −14.4
(6.1)
−13.6
(7.5)
−5.6
(21.9)
5.2
(41.4)
12.1
(53.8)
18.2
(64.8)
20.5
(68.9)
18.3
(64.9)
11.1
(52)
3.2
(37.8)
−4.0
(24.8)
−11.0
(12.2)
3.3
(37.9)
Record low °C (°F) −37.9
(−36.2)
−37.2
(−35)
−36.1
(−33)
−15.9
(3.4)
−5.4
(22.3)
3.6
(38.5)
8.2
(46.8)
5.4
(41.7)
−4.4
(24.1)
−15.7
(3.7)
−31.6
(−24.9)
−34.8
(−30.6)
−37.9
(−36.2)
Precipitation mm (inches) 12
(0.47)
10
(0.39)
15
(0.59)
12
(0.47)
15
(0.59)
15
(0.59)
8
(0.31)
5
(0.2)
6
(0.24)
12
(0.47)
13
(0.51)
12
(0.47)
135
(5.31)
Avg. rainy days 4 4 6 8 10 7 8 5 5 7 7 5 76
Avg. snowy days 16 12 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 13 55
 % humidity 84 82 76 53 45 37 37 37 43 58 76 82 59
Source: Pogoda.ru.net [3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Население Республики Казахстан" (in Russian). Департамент социальной и демографической статистики. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Zelicoff, A.P., “An epidemiological analysis of the 1971 smallpox outbreak in Aralsk, Kazakhstan” (2002), In: Tucker, J.B. and R.A. Zilinskas,eds., The 1971 Smallpox Epidemic in Aralsk, Kazakhstan, and the Soviet Biological Warfare Program; Monterey, California: Monterey Institute of International Studies, Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Occasional Paper No. 9.
  3. ^ "Weather and Climate- The Climate of Aral" (in Russian). Weather and Climate (Погода и климат). Retrieved November 16, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bissell, Tom (2003). Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia. New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-375-42130-0. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Aral (city) at Wikimedia Commons

  • News story on the plight of Aralsk and the Aral Sea. [1]
  • The shrinking Aral Sea. [2]
  • Bringing life back to Asia's 'dead' sea. [3]