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Rain displaces IDPs a second time

By Liana Bezhanishvili
Wednesday, March 17
Non-stop rain has inflicted serious damage on all regions of Georgia. Over 200 IDP families in the Tserovani settlement were left without shelter after flooding irrigation canals covered the settlement and the IDP and Resettlement Ministry evacuated them to the nearest school. Minister of IDPs and Resettlement Koba Subeliani visited Tserovani yesterday and pledged to begin rehabilitation work in a few days.

"Each family will be provided with all necessary conditions and if some houses are impossible to live in families will be housed in other buildings until the repair works are completed, the Minister declared.

The Mtskheta regional administration is also counting the damage. In the village of Ksovrisi dozens of houses were flooded and cattle and poultry killed. Residents complained that winter storage has been destroyed. Governor of the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region Davit Chocheli told Interpressnews that a landslide had occurred in Mtskheta as a result of the rain and Tsilkani has also been flooded.

"The landslide in Mtskheta blocked a road. However we have worked the whole night and the road is open now. However the situation in Tsilkani and Tserovani is still critical, Chocheli said, adding that houses had been pumped out.

Non-stop rain has caused landslides in the West of the country. In the Ambrolauri district village of Bugeuli a whole mountainside collapsed. The fallen soil blocked the riverbed causing the water to burst its banks and flow in another direction. Oni district is still isolated from the rest of the region. Over 93,000 electricity subscribers have been blacked out due to the disaster.

The flood has damaged houses in Tbilisi too, mostly buildings where IDPs are sheltered. Some buildings under construction have also been damaged.

Georgian Water and Power has released a statement regarding the restriction of water supply in Tbilisi. It says that the bad weather has created problems for the water supply stations in Aragvi Gorge, meaning that water supply restrictions have been imposed in some districts of the capital, including Gldani-Nadzaladevi and some parts of Vake-Saburtalo. The company says it is controlling the quality of potable water but cannot say yet how soon the water supply will be resumed, as this depends on weather.

The River Alazani has burst its banks and covered the highway, blocking movement in the Gurjaani-Lagodekhi sector and flooding parts of the Akhmeta, Gurjaani and Telavi regions. The swollen River Mejuda has inflicted serious damage on the Gori district villages of Tirdznisi and Rekha, where the ground floors of the houses were completely flooded last night. The River Suramula has flooded the streets of Khashuri.

While it was raining throughout Georgia snow cover reached five metres in Mestia, isolating its villages from the rest of the country. A threat of avalanche is hampering road clearing work which would restore communication. Traffic is blocked on Kobi-Gudauri sector of the main military highway due to snow and rescuers have dragged people out of cars caught in the snow on this road.

A strong wind is expected today, however the weather should improve from March 19.