Kyrgyzstan Stops Flights amid Snowstorm


Ex-Soviet Kyrgyzstan halted flights leaving the country's main airport near the capital Bishkek Friday, citing a snowstorm that it said had affected conditions for takeoff.

"All departures have been delayed due to the unusual weather conditions," a spokeswoman at the airport told AFP by telephone.

The spokeswoman could not immediately say when departures would resume. 

This is the second time this year Kyrgyzstan's main airport has stopped flights from departing the airport.

Authorities have been especially cautious since a Turkish cargo plane flying in foggy conditions crashed into a village close to the airport in January last year, killing 39 people.

Central Asia, a landlocked region positioned between western China and Iran has seen bouts of wild weather and temperatures well below seasonal averages this year.

Flights were cancelled and a state of emergency declared when a snowstorm struck Astana, the capital of Kyrgyzstan's neighbour Kazakhstan in January, briefly cutting off road access to the city.

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