Deadly Snow Storms Sweep Mongolia
Mongolia endured a brutal and deadly winter of 2022-23 which led to mass livestock losses and the suffering of 212,000 people, according to Save the Children. Now, even in late-spring, deadly blizzards are continuing to buffet the country.
Currently, 13 of Mongolia’s 21 provinces are experiencing a ‘dzud’ — a natural phenomenon unique to Mongolia, where heavy snow and extreme cold result in insufficient grazing pastures for livestock. Between 1940 and 2015, official “dzud declarations” where made twice a decade. But in recent years, dzud’s have increased in frequency, with occurrences now happening annually.
Like the increasing ‘cold waves’ in India, the AGW Party doesn’t have an answer for this phenomenon.
Last Friday, “A total of 127 people, mostly nomadic herders, went missing in the dust and snow storms that started in the eastern provinces of Sukhbaatar and Khentii,” reads a statement from Mongolia’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), “125 of them have been found alive. Unfortunately, two people have lost their lives.”
The country’s return to winter has also caused extensive damage to buildings as well as infrastructure facilities such as roads and power lines, reports Xinhua.
The cold and snow has killed a large number of livestock, too, continues NEMA, adding to the shocking winter losses.
Delgerbat, a herder in western Mongolia, recently had to take his son out of school to help him care for the family’s livestock.
“The climate is very different from when I was a child,” said Delgerbat back in early May.
“When I was young the snow would have melted by this time and it would already be spring, but now spring comes so late.”
Springs delay is forecast to persist across large parts of the country, especially eastern and southern provinces.
As a result, the country’s weather monitoring agency is warning the public, especially nomadic herders and drivers, to take extra precautions against “possible disasters”.
Heavy Snow Traps Thousands In Mendoza, Argentina
On Sunday, thousands of Chilean travelers found themselves stranded by snow in the Argentine province of Mendoza.
The Cristo Redentor Path, one link between Argentina and Chile, was closed due to heavy, accumulating snow –a decision made jointly by both countries– and long lines of cars soon grew in the border village of Las Cuevas.
Every weekend, shoppers from neighboring countries –Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay– pour into Argentina to capitalize on a favorable exchange rate. Chileans shoppers can pick up many staples for a quarter of the price they pay at home.
This influx is boosting the economy of Argentina’s border provinces, though is hurting everyone else.
Another upshot is that the shelves of many Argentine supermarkets are often out of stock on a daily basis.
This week’s early-season snowstorm is forecast to persist until Thursday. The snow is also resulting in other border closures, such as at Paso Pehuenche in Malargüe, meaning alternative routes, even if they could be sought, aren’t available.
Heavy snow is indeed accumulating across Argentina’s higher elevations.
As was the case across much of North America, particularly the west, South America’s winter season is off to a great start:
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