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Government tallies losses from storm, wind

By Keti Arjevanidze
Tuesday, March 26
After the devastating weather in various regions of Georgia, the government began the tedious job of assessing the damage. A special governmental group was created with Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s instruction, headed by vice PM Kakhi Kaladze, who is also the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, to deal with the damage inflicted by the strong winds and storm. The storm ended without any victims, several people were slightly injured.

Five ministries are involved in the recovery process after the natural disaster, which hit the country on March 23.

According to Kaladze, the loss will be fully recovered from the state budget.

Adjara has been the most affected region where high waves flooded part of Batumi’s seaside boulevard; strong wind ripped off and damaged the roofs of 150 houses and of several schools and many building. According to Archil Khabadze, Chairman of the Government of Adjara, the damage in Batumi comes to over GEL 3 million.

According to the authorities of the Ajara region, households in Kobuleti were left without water and gas supply, while the streets were flooded.

Similar damage was inflicted on 20 residential buildings in the town of Gori and 50 houses in Ozurgeti; strong wind also damaged the roofs of about 60 buildings in the capital Tbilisi.

Minister Kaladze said that over 100,000 households were left without electricity on Sunday. Power supply was restored to half of these households later that day and repair work is still underway.

Arriving to Gori on Monday, PM Ivanishvili visited the neighbourhoods where the strong wind ripped off roofs of several apartment buildings. Minister of Finance, Nodar Khaduri accompanied the PM.

The losses in the Gori region account for more than GEL 1 million. However, Khaduri said the financial resources are being mobilized in the Gori municipality and added that the Ministry will also eliminate the damage.

PM Ivanishvili assumed that one of the reasons for this kind of large-scale damage is due to the low protection and quality of the materials, as well as the unprofessionalism revealed while reconstructing the buildings. “We have to do better work, everything should be calculated properly by many specialists not one single man,” Ivanishvili said.

The Ministry of healthcare is also involved in the special group created to help communities affected by natural disasters. According to Minister Davit Sergeenko, the Ministry is ready to face any challenge.

To help the affected communities, the Ministry of Defence is also in complete readiness. According to Deputy Defence Minister Levan Dolidze, the Ministry’s representatives have been mobilized to assist people both in the east and in the west of the country.

About 20 schools were damaged from storm throughout the country including broken windows. The Minister of Education and Science, Giorgi Margvelashvili, said at first electricity supply and windows will be restored; afterwards the rehabilitation work will get started.