Sections SEARCH Skip to content Skip to site index Asia Pacific Subscribe Log In Subscribe Log In Today’s Paper Advertisement Supported by Aral Sea Dispatch ByNeil MacFarquhar Aug. 9, 2018 MUYNAK, Uzbekistan — The fierce windstorm that walloped this small defunct port in late spring stunned even a local ecologist long resigned to the devastation wrought by the disappearance of the once ample Aral Sea. A thick, stinging haze greeted the ecologist, Gileyboi Zhyemuratov, as he stepped outside that day in May. “When you opened the door, everything was white like snow,” said Mr. Zhyemuratov, 57, a descendant of generations of fishermen in a place where there are no longer any fish. For three days, the tempest hurled silt off the former seabed of what was once the planet’s fourth-largest inland body of water. It blotted out the sky and left the residents of the former port, Muynak, in western Uzbekistan, chewing salty grit. Even the rain turned brackish, sending panicked farmers scrambling to rescue crops. As the storm blew in, Vladimir Zuev, a retired Russian pilot turned tour operator, was sitting beneath his shady pergola, where the garden gnomes consist of a bust of Lenin and other Soviet icons…. Read full this story
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