TBILISI, DFWatch – The European Union is to help families affected by the July 19 storm in Georgia which levelled more than 40 villages.

More than 20 000 families were affected by the storm, which hit the south east part of Georgia. People lost their houses, their harvest, roads, communication and water systems was destroyed, as well as livestock. 20 schools were demolished. The affected villages were left without electricity for several days.

The EU announced that it will donate 118 000 euro to the people in affected villages. The victims will be given mattress, blankets, food and hygiene products.

Manana Manjgaladze, the president’s spokesperson, said July 24 that residents of affected villages will get some compensation in August which will be satisfactory for every family.

President Mikheil Saakashvili announced on August 6 that after 10 days the full extent of victims will be known and in the first half of September they will get their compensation.

The compensation sum will be from 300 to 1 500 lari.

Meanwhile, the president’s main competitor, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, donated USD 80 million to the victims of the storm by paying a fine which he considered illegal.

Among the victims are 900 students. After the database is completed, all students will be free from paying taxes at the universities.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs sent 2 000 soldiers and the Ministry of Defense sent 1 300 reservist to help locals with rebuilding. The soldiers left the villages on July 30. Nine hired workers were affected during rebuilding works in Telavi, one of the biggest towns of Kakheti, a region in the east of Georgia.

Over 4 000 houses have been put a roof on and 154 houses are in the process to be.