Kyzyl-Agash Dam failure

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Coordinates: 45°17′59″N 78°45′17″E / 45.29972°N 78.75472°E / 45.29972; 78.75472

Kyzyl-Agash Dam failure
Kyzylagash ali 2010080 2.jpg
Overhead of Kyzylagash after the flood.
Date March 2010
Deaths 43+

The Kyzyl-Agash Dam failure occurred in a dam located outside the village of Kyzyl-Agash, Almaty Province, Kazakhstan. On 11 March 2010, the dam burst, flooding the village. At least 43 people were killed, 211 people were injured, and over 1000 evacuated from the village.[1][2][3]

Opposition sources report a much higher figure for the death toll. An opposition newspaper Svoboda Slova reports that at least 200 have died, mostly children and old people, but an exact, official count is prohibited by the administration.[4]


A failure in the dam caused the reservoir to burst after torrential rain coupled with a sudden rise in temperature caused early snowmelt.[2][5] The dam failure unleashed torrents of water about 2 metres (6.6 ft) high and washed away a bridge on a main highway connecting Almaty with the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk near the border with Russia.[3][6]

More than 600 emergency service workers traveled to the region to clear the debris and to provide tents and much-needed aid for evacuees. Security in the area was stepped up to deter looters as well.[7] A temporary camp, with a field hospital, was established to look after at least 1000 evacuees from Kyzyl-Agash and the Kazakh military dispatched units to the area to assist.[8] Kazakhstan's Prime Minister, Karim Massimov, also traveled to the region to personally supervise the relief efforts.[6][9]

President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered an investigation into the incident, issuing a statement in which he said, "The general prosecutors or the interior ministry should open a criminal probe against the owner of the reservoir. It should be made responsible for the death of so many people".[2] The Interior Ministry has said that Kazakh police detained several regional officials, including the mayor of Kyzyl-Agash.[5] The government allocated 600 million tenge ($4.1 million) to provide compensation to people affected by the disaster and to deal with its effects.[10]

The day before, another dam was washed away in the nearby Karatal District. The village Zhybulak was flooded, and many of the 820 residents of the flooded 140 homes had been evacuated into a nearby school.[11][12]


  1. ^ "Death toll in Kazakhstan floods rises to 43". Sputnik. 24 March 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Archived copy". AFP hosted by Google. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  3. ^ a b Umeed, Ibn e (12 March 2010). "Archived copy". The Statesmen. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  4. ^ "Svoboda slova" (Liberty of speech) No. 11 (257), March 18, 2010, "Tragedy in Kyzyl-Agash"
  5. ^ a b "Kazakhstan Detains Officials After Deadly Flood". Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Kazakhstan flooding death toll rises to 30 as recovery efforts pick up pace". Today Online. 13 March 2010. Archived from the original on 15 March 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Death toll from southern Kazakhstan floods rises to 35". People's Daily Online. 14 March 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Floods kill at least 28 in south Kazakhstan". The Financial. 13 March 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "Dam burst destroys Kazakh village". Al Jazeera. 14 March 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "RIA Novosti: Death toll from southern Kazakhstan flood rises to 37". Focus Information Agency. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  11. ^ Nurmakov, Adil (15 March 2010). "Kazakhstan: Flood Kills 47, Leaves Hundreds Homeless". Global Voices. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "Число жертв наводнения в Казахстане достигло 20 человек". РосБизнесКонсалтинг. 12 March 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2015.