Heavy rain leaves the victims and serious harvest damage in Georgia
Heavy rain over the last three days has left eight people dead, including five who died in a landslide in Adjara. According to preliminary estimates, the rain has destroyed 70% of the grape harvest as well.
The heavy rain damaged regions throughout Georgia, including the capitol. In Gardabani, a region near Tbilisi, three people died as a result of the flooding. Houses were seen flooded in the regions of Lochini, Sartichala, Vaziani and Gamarjveba.
The flood also damaged the Isani-Samgori district in Tbilisi, where water reached heights of three meters, forcing some residents to temporarily evacuate.
According to Temur Giorgadze, the head of the emergency situations service, they have closed the central highway to the district of Lilo and the territory surrounding the national airport for the safety of the people. “The city council of Tbilisi is working on these issues and the residents will be compensated,” said Giorgadze.
There is water in the houses and their basements, and the brigades of fireman are still pumping out the water.
Four members in the Chavlelishvili family died as a result of a landslide in the village Masaura, Adjara. 17 year-old Magda Chavlelishvili and her grandfather were saved. Magda is currently in a hospital in Batumi with injuries. She lost both her parents, her sister and brother, when they were overcome by the landslide. Jemal Shantadze, from the village of Charnaghi, also died in the landslide.
The heavy rain also made itself felt in Georgia's grape industry. Rain, wind and hail destroyed about 70% of the harvest in the region of Kakheti. Most of the damage occurred in the village of Khodasheni.
A special governmental commission is assessing the damage and local representatives are meeting with the people. The local government says it will aid the people to store the harvest that was saved and also plans to provide locals with urgent supplies.
The heavy torrents damaged the roof of the national airport of Tbilisi and also flooded the railway station near the airport. Tea Tabidze, a representative of Tav-Georgia, the controlling company of the airport, claimed that as soon as weather conditions improve the company will repair the roof within two weeks, which will cost 1,200,000 Euro.
“The rain damaged the roof and arrival area. The floor was flooded. The company was going to finish the airport's construction in August, but the foreign workers refused to come back to Georgia because of this war, and also the weather was not appropriate for repairs,” said Tabidze.
This is the fourth time in two years that Tbilisi National Airport has had problems with its roof during inclement weather. The airport for the moment has not deviated from its main schedule.
The water is being pumped out of the railway station near the airport. The rails and platforms are currently under water. The station was opened on November of last year.
According to weather forecasts it is not expected to rain in the next two days, however, come Wednesday, Tbilisi, Zestaponi and Bakurian could well see new rainfall lasting until Monday.
22 September Mon 2008, 18:50:50