TBILISI, DFWatch–The only road that connects South Ossetia to Russia was still blocked Monday after being closed for traffic seven days ago due to heavy snowfall and avalanches.
Personnal dispatched by Tskhinvali has been trying to clear the road throughout the weekend and even carried out several controled explosions to try to trigger artificial avalanches. The explosions were also heard on Monday, locals told DFWatch.
Nevertheless, traffic was not resumed Monday on the Trans-Caucasian highway which connects Tskhinvali to Vladikavkaz through Roki tunnel. Tskhinvali authorities refrain from naming a specific time for when the road will re-open. Locals say there are serious problems with supplies to grocery stores in Tskhinvali and Akhalgori, but breakaway authorities reject widespread information about acute shortages of fuel and food in the ‘republic’.
Apart from Transkam, the Transcaucasian Highway, many local roads have also been closed. Several villages are cut off from the outside world.
Separatist authorities have not reported any casualties except one person who was injured. A 52 year old man sustained several fractures on Friday when his car was hit by a rock that fell down the slope next to Transkam 8km north of Tskhinvali.
The situation is also aggravated by the fact that Tskhinvali blocked the road connecting the breakaway republic with the rest of Georgia on January 11 with the pretext of preventing the spread of “swine flu”.