NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan has evacuated more than 30,500 people from its southern Turkestan region after a reservoir in Uzbekistan collapsed, flooding hundreds of houses in both the countries, an official said Tuesday. 

Turkestan Governor Umirzak Shukeyev said 631 houses submerged after irrigation channels were opened to reduce the flow of water in Sardoba dam.

The rescued belong to 14 villages of southern Turkestan province, which borders Uzbekistan, Shukeyev added.

Heavy rains and stormy winds on May 1 caused a Sardoba dam wall to collapse partially, flooding a large land area on both the sides.

Completed in 2017, the dam has a storage capacity of 922 million cubic meters, and is used for irrigating agricultural lands in the provinces of Sirdaryo and Jizzakh.

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