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Winter weather arrives in Georgia

By Keti Arjevanidze
Wednesday, January 9
Weather forecasters predict unstable weather all around the country. Snowy weather will continue in the mountainous areas, while rain is expected in the low-lying areas.

Temperature will drop in Tbilisi and snow and frost is expected. Bad weather became the reason of tearing 18 villages away from the outside world in Mtskheta-Mtianeti region, Khada valley and Back Phshavi. According to Vano Ebralidze from the Mtskheta-Mtianeti territorial administration, approximately 1 metre snow is in the Khada valley. We cleaned the roads two days ago but now the situation is the same, its snowing heavily. We have a tractor and probably tomorrow we will continue to clean the roads, he said.

The governor of Back Phshavi, Nugzar Gusharashvili said that as the weather has worsened, it was impossible to clean the roads from snow. If the weather is better tomorrow well start cleaning, he said.

According to a local news agency in the Khada valley, residents are not supplied with natural gas because the pipeline has been damage and they are facing heating problems.

No traffic was allowed on Gudauri-Kobi and Stephantsminda-Larsi section of road due to hard snow, avalanche risks and the snow-storm.

According to police-inspector Khvicha Parkauli, the traffic was locked because of the hard snow and the cleaning activities were also stopped on Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Larsi and Gudauri-Kobi road. Parkauli said some restrictions were set on other sections of the road as well; however, the traffic will be carried out under the supervision and coordination of police. He also added that equipment has not entered the Stephantsminda, Gudauri-Kobi road section because of the snow storm.

According to the Georgian road department, the traffic was free on other road sections of country.

However, the weather had deteriorated on Trans-Caucasian highway which connects Russia with the occupied South Ossetia. Cleaning activities lasted the whole night. 15 cars were damaged on one section of the road; among them were 2 mini-buses with passengers. Rescue services continued working.

According to the Hydro meteorological Research Center, unstable weather will continue in the country until 11th January. Hard snow is predicted for January9th. Svetlana Nioradze from the Monitoring and Prognostication centre for the National Agency of the Environment told The Messenger that weather will improve from 12th of January and it will last until 16th of January both in the western and eastern parts of the country.