Harsh weather kills 2.1 mln head of livestock in Mongolia

Extreme wintry weather, known as "dzud," has so far killed more than 2.1 million head of livestock this winter in Mongolia, the State Emergency Commission (SEC) said Tuesday.

"As of today, at least 2,136,503 heads of livestock have died due to the dzud across the country," the agency said, adding that the figure marks an 85-percent jump from a year earlier.

The dzud is a Mongolian term to describe a severely cold winter when a large number of livestock die because the ground is frozen or covered in snow.

As Mongolia has seen much more snow than usual this winter, over 80 percent of its territory has so far been blanketed with snow up to 100 cm thick, according to the country's weather monitoring agency.

As one of the last surviving nomadic countries in the world, Mongolia has recently elevated its disaster preparedness to high alert due to the harsh winter and livestock loss.