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Mongolia, Musings and Miscellaneous
Earthquakes are one of the most devastating forms of natural disasters, and in Mongolia, 80 percent of the total land area and 70 percent of urban areas are located in earthquake-prone regions. Ulaanbaatar accommodates more than half of its total population and produces around 60 percent of local products. However, the city is located in a very active seismic zone and, coupled with older infrastructure, building standards are doubtful to withstand earthquakes of above magnitude 5 on the Richter scale.
The survey, conducted by the Water Authority and the State Professional Control Agency, revealed that over 1,200 rivers have dried up in Mongolia. Four years ago, more than 5,100 rivers were counted while today there were fewer than 3,900.Apparently, part of the blame lies with water-intensive industries such as leather tanning and gold mining. In a country that only receives 7-9 inches of precipitation annually and that is hundreds of miles from the ocean, water needs to be more carefully managed.
Government officials also said 2,600 lakes are now dry, out of a total of 3,700, while 23,000 of the country’s 93,700 springs are dry. Further, of the more than 400 mineral waters, 110 have disappeared.
about 205,821 tons of cereals, 142,124 tons of potatoes and 80,627 tons of vegetables were harvested this year.
Also, Mongolian farmers brought in 1008.8 thousand tons of hay, 25.9 thousand tons of hand-made fodder and 950.2 tons of silage crops.
Compared with the same period in 2007, the harvest of cereals, potatoes, hay and silage crops increased 85.3 thousand tons or 74.4 percent, 18.5 thousand tons or 16.2 percent, 116.0 thousand tons or 13.0 percent, and 796.1 tons or 6.2 times more, respectively.