The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reports that so far, 23 soums of nine provinces in Mongolia are experiencing white dzud, a severe winter phenomenon with heavy snowstorms and temperature plunges below -40 degree celsius, and warned the public to not to travel within the country if possible.
According to the NEMA, dzud has struck 18 soums of eight provinces, specifically Sagsai soum of Bayan-Ulgii Province; Khangal soum of Bulgan Province; Darkhan soum of Darkhan-Uul Province; Dashbalbal and Choibalsan soums of Dornod Province; Orkhon, Yuruu, Zuunburen, Sukhbaatar, Khushaat and Khuder soums of Selenge Province; Baruunturuun, Zuunkhangai, Malchin and Naranbulag soums of Uvs Province; Renchinlkhumbe soum of Khuvsgul Province; and Bunder and Dadal soums of Khentii Province.
Weather conditions have worsened into white dzud in Teshig soum of Bulgan Province; Shariin Gol and Khongor soums of Darkhan-Uul Province; Bayan-Uul, Bayantumen, Khulunbuir , Tsagaan-Ovoo and Sergelen soums of Dornod Province; Bayankhairkhan, Bayantes and Songino soums of Zavkhan Province, Jargalant soum of Orkhon Province; Zuungovi, Sangil, Turgen and Tes soums in Uvs Province; Ulaan-Uul, Tsetserleg and Khatgal soums of Khuvsgul Province; Mandal, Tushig and Tsagaannuur soums of Selenge Province; and Norovlin soum of Khentii Province. Altogether 23 soums of nine provinces have been affected.
The Deputy Prime Minister has sent an emergency working group to review and evaluate the situation in each province in relation to winter preparation. The Minister or Roads and Transportation has approved Resolution No.43, and dispatched around 190 trucks and snow plows.
Ulaanbaatar Mayor urges public involvement in snow removal
Ulaanbaatar Mayor S.Batbold notified to take measures involving the public, including students and soldiers, in the occasion that another unforeseen and extreme natural disaster occurs.
He gave orders to associated agencies and departments on urgent measures to take within the next two weeks after explaining some challenges and difficulties being faced by residents due to the recent heavy snowfall and sudden temperature drop. Mayor S.Batbold also ordered government agencies to finish snow removal works within and outside of the capital by next Monday with assistance from soldiers, students and high school students.
New campaign to support herders
The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry has initiated a charity campaign for herders, following warning of dzud, which is a phenomenon unique to Mongolia, this winter.
The ministry is encouraging the public, agencies, companies, embassies, donor countries and international organizations to donate warm clothing, food, medication for livestock, coal, hay, animal feed, insulation materials and other useful items for herders through the campaign, aimed to prevent potential risks and loss in the agricultural sector and help herders overcome severe winter conditions and natural phenomenon during the winter.
At present, winter preparation work is at 82.8 percent completion nationwide, according to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry. However, continuous heavy snowfall since early October has left half the nation covered in snow and ice. A spokesperson from the ministry emphasized that more than 70 percent of the provinces in Mongolia are in serious situation and likely to face tremendous losses at this rate.