In brief, News

Heavy flood killed five in Tbilisi

by | May 13, 2012

The river Mtkvari last night spilled over and flooded the streets of Tbilisi. Five people are reported to have died. (Screengrab from Maestro TV.)

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia was hit by heavy rain overnight, causing flash flooding many places. Five deaths are reported in the capital Tbilisi as a reservoir burst in a hill above the city and flooded one district.

The Emergency Department in Tbilisi says five people have died from flooding in the city. The heavy rain lasted for several hours in the capital and instantly flooded most of the streets.

A woman and two children died in a mud slide, Temur Giorgadze, head of the Emergency Department told news agency GHN. By 3:00 in the morning information was reported about two more deaths, one of them was a woman.

The old district Ortachala is in the most difficult situation. A hill collapsed in the district and threatened several buildings. People are evacuated from their houses. The flood water doesn’t allow for the movement of vehicles, and makes it hard for people to walk.

GHN quotes Mayor Gigi Ugulava saying that mud slide cut off a slope of land and blocked a drainage trench.

“At this place there is a collector, which collects water and lets it down. Most likely, a slope of land was cut off somewhere blocking it and instead of the collector, water came down, it means that the whole river runs through the road,” Ugulava said.

The water masses reached many buildings in the south of Tbilisi, in a district called Ortachala. There, electricity has been switched of for residents’ safety.

Also, many cars were overturned and some houses were destroyed. Heavily affected was also one building used by the prison ministry.\, which lay right in the path of the floodwave as it came down the hill. Car traffic was stopped in the streets. Some areas close to the river are cut off from the outside world.

On social networks there are several reports about people missing. The emergency service is fully mobilized.

In Mukhiani, a district on the northern outskirts of Tbilisi, cars are covered by water and people were standing on top of their cars, waiting for help. On Facebook, people reported that cars and taxis have difficulties to reach various districts in Tbilisi so people are having to walk home.

Reports are coming about problems in the rest of the country. In Dusheti om the north eight villages are isolated.

Real TV reports that Tbilisi international airport is normal operation with all flights on schedule. There is no interruption in Georgian railway either.



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