Report on the 2009-10 Dzud Disaster Impact on Schools, Kindergartens, Children and Teachers in Mongolia, March-April 2010
A sharp and sudden temperature drop since late December 2009 combined with continuous heavy snowfalls has led to the current emergency situation in Mongolia. Higher-than-normal animal death rates have been reported and many more are at risk before the spring arrives and the snow melts in April and May. Up to 90 percent of the country has been covered with snow at depths ranging from 20cm to 90cm, and 198 of Mongolia's 331 soums have been battered by this harsh weather.
Temperatures in the most severely affected regions have consistently dropped to between -30 and -40 degrees. For example, in Uliastai the lowest temperatures dropped to below -30 degrees during 19 of the 28 days in February - (http://www.tutiempo.net/en/Climate/ULIASTAI/02-2010/442720.htm).
According to the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), as at April 19, 2010 a total of 6.7 million head of livestock had either frozen or starved to death throughout the winter period (NEMA, 2010).
A "Zud" or "Dzud" (Mongolian: çóä) is "a Mongolian term for an extremely snowy winter in which livestock are unable to find fodder through the snow cover, and large numbers of animals die due to starvation and the cold. The term is also used for other meteorological conditions, especially in winter that makes livestock grazing impossible" (Wikipedia, 2010)