The Georgian authorities are preparing to undertake relief measures for the flood-stricken regions of Georgia, mainly in the western part of the country and pledged to allocate 20 million Lari for rehabilitation works. Georgia has also called on international community for emergency assistance.
No casualties have been reported; however the floods, caused by week-long heavy rains in western Georgia, have damaged houses, roads, bridges and thousands of hectares of farmland in Racha-Lechkhumi, Samegrelo, the Kvemo Svaneti regions, as well as in Tskaltubo, Khoni, Tsageri, Lentekhi, Oni and several districts of Kutaisi. Access to more than 100 villages is still cut off. Energy and water supplies are also completely damaged.
Officials say that several districts of Svaneti mountainous region, as well as Tsageri district in western Georgia, suffered largely by floods. 200 people have been evacuated only from Lentekhi, which is in Svaneti region.
After hitting western Georgia, the floods also struck some parts of central Georgia as well. The villages of Dzevera and Uplistsikhe in the Gori district of the Shida Kartli region suffered after the Mtkvari river burst its bank on April 26 there. The Mtkvari, which also runs through the capital city, was about to burst its bank in Tbilisi as well, however, there is currently no threat of flooding in the capital city after rains stopped on April 27
President Saakashvili said on April 27, while visiting the Shida Kartli region in central Georgia, that about 15-20 million Lari (USD 8.1-10.8 million) will be needed to repair roads and bridges damaged by the flood throughout Georgia.
“Georgia has not faced such a great amount of damage for the past decade,” Saakashvili said.
He also said that several districts of breakaway South Ossetia were hit by flooding as well, adding that Tbilisi is ready for provide assistance to the population of South Ossetia.
“The Java and Kvaisa regions [in breakaway South Ossetia] are completed isolated [due to flooding]; our Ossetian compatriots are left without shelter. So we are ready to bring necessary equipment or assist them [in other ways],” Saakashvili said on April 27.
Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli said that the government can allocate 20 million Lari for flood relief activities. But officials say that damage caused by floods will require much more funds. A special group has already been set up at the Foreign Ministry to provide detailed information to donor organizations and international community about the consequences of this disaster.
“We will inform the international society about our needs so that to render duly assistance to the victims of the floods. Our diplomatic missions abroad have already notified the foreign governments about this disaster,” Giorgi Gomiashvili, the Deputy Foreign Minister said.