I found the below printed article yesterday on BBC World. Jochen and I had travelled this road in 2003 on our Tschingis Khan Tour. There are actually two passes on the mentioned road. The first one, coming from Dushanbe, is Pereval Anzob. This one was closed when we tried to reach Dushanbe in May 2003 coming from the North.

Pereval Anzob

The second pass to cross is Pereval Shakristan which in fact is higher then the first one but is kept open in order to supply the valley in between the two mountain ranges. The only other road for these people leeds to Uzbekistan (where the need a visa).

Pereval Shakristan

Snow is a real problem in these mountains and unfortunately it seems that they haven’t done enough to prevent the road from beeing covered. Since years there are talks about a tunnel linking the valley with Dushanbe but money seems to be a bigger problem than snow. When we drove up to Pereval Anzob, the roadworkers had just found and recovered a truck under the snow from an avalanche from the year before!

Lethal avalanche hits Tajik road.

An avalanche on a road linking the Tajik capital Dushanbe with the country’s second city Khudzhand has killed at least 15 people, police say. It occurred late on Friday evening 67km (42 miles) to the north of Dushanbe, a mountainous republic in ex-Soviet Central Asia.

Dozens of cars are still buried under snow as another avalanche crashed on to lorries on the road putty download windows , rescuers said.

Avalanches are very common along the route, which links Tajikistan to China.

Police say that one of the drivers managed to make a phone call from his mobile but after that all communication was lost.

There have been heavy snow storms all across this part of Central Asia and one driver who recently came back from the border with China said the road had become exceptionally dangerous, the BBC’s Central Asia correspondent Natalia Antelava reports.

But much of the economy of this impoverished region relies on trade with China, and so many drivers say they have no choice but to take the risk, our correspondent adds.

Communications problems

Tajikistan’s emergencies ministry told Reuters news agency it was having difficulty confirming the death toll reported by police.

„Rescuers have so far reported two people killed but because of bad weather they are only able to phone in occasionally,“ spokeswoman Munira Nazariyeva said.“There are still people under snow, we cannot say how many at the moment. The rescue operation continues,“ she added.

Confirming the death toll of 15 for the Associated Press news agency, interior ministry spokesman Khudonazar Asoyev said it was unclear how many vehicles were trapped under the snow.

The Dushanbe-Khudzhand road used to close for the winter, but it stayed open this year thanks to the newly built Anzob tunnel, which goes under a snow-covered pass.

Map of Tajikistan

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