Moderate Earthquake hits Georgia
By Salome Modebadze
Thursday, January 20
5.8-magnitude earthquake hit Imereti Region on January 19. According to the information released by the Seismology Monitoring Centre, the epicenter of the disaster was the uninhabited village of Kakaskhidi in Vani district. The Governor of Vani, Zurab Gegidze, said that the earthquake did not cause panic among local people and the overall situation in region had been calm. “The situation in Kakaskhidi is in order; the only report about damage was from the village Meore Obcha, in Bagdadi district, where several houses had suffered a slight collapse. The quakes caused a landslide in Sairme and blocked up the roads. There were no special calls from people but still, the specialists from the emergency services have already arrived at the spot with special vehicles to conduct the road clearing activities there,” he said, adding that a special staff based at the Vani Municipality has started calculating the damage.
Slight earthquakes were felt across Georgia throughout the day but they finally became lighter. Deputy Head of the Seismology Monitoring Centre Eka Godovadze supposed that the slight quakes would last for around a fortnight in Vani region followed by the so-called aftershocks and hoped that they should not give rise to panic among the people. There was no particular damage in the country but still the quakes seemed to be strong enough to be felt in different parts of Georgia including the capital Tbilisi. Local South Ossetian media agencies had also written about the quakes. The effects lasted for around a minute in Tskhinvali but people left their homes and administrative buildings; there were also problems with mobile communications. Magticom did not seem to face any disruption during the day while Geocell service centre explained that the problem with communication had been caused by the overloading of the cell.