Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan evacuate thousands over flood

TASHKENT/ALMATY (Reuters) - Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have evacuated tens of thousands of people from the Syr Darya river basin after a reservoir dam on the Uzbek side burst, flooding large areas on both sides of the border, the authorities said on Saturday.

Uzbekistan has evacuated about 70,000 people from 22 villages in the affected area following the May 1 burst, the Tashkent government said.

In Kazakhstan, the authorities have evacuated about 5,400 people from four villages in the southern Turkestan province, governor Umirzak Shukeyev said, adding that some people had left the area overnight on their own.

The Uzbek government said it had managed to reduce the flow of water and divert it to a nearby lake.

(Reporting by Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov and Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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