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Guria becomes the new target of heavy rain

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, August 6
Bad weather has created serious problems and damage in Guria. It has been raining hard for 2 days and in the alpine resort zone it was even snowing. Dozens of houses were flooded in Ozurgeti. Rivers were swollen and fields were flooded in Chokhatauri. According to the residents, water has destroyed gardens and vineyards and killed the poultry. In the village of Chochkhati in Lanchkhuti, the Shutia River even washed away a car with two people, including a pregnant woman. As Lanchkhuti rescue service said, they rescued them from the water, and their lives are no more in danger.

The head of the Lanchkhuti Rescue Service, Kakha Jincharadze, said they could not take the car out of the water, because it did not stop raining in Lanchkhuti and the level of water was rising. 20 calls were observed and 15 families were flooded in Ozurgeti due to the flooding.

A family living next to the public school in the centre of Ozurgeti was also affected by the heavy rain. A member of the Gogelia family said it has been the same in rainy days for around 30 years.

“The problem is that the sewage canal is running through the yard, and the drainage canals are damaged. 4 governments have been changed, but our problem is still unsolved. However, the governor was helping us on his own in pumping all night," she said. Another house in the same yard was also damaged as the water had penetrated the ground floor.

The Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Davit Narmania, said that the damage caused by the disaster will become known and the number of affected municipalities announced. "The Vice-Premier has already been to Ozurgeti. Local government officials are counting the losses, and when they determine everything, they will let us know,” said the minister, adding that if the local budget will not be sufficient to cover the losses, then it will be financed from the central budget.

In addition, the disaster has damaged the main pipeline, which is why natural gas is not being supplied to Ajara region. There are few versions– it was probably damaged by strong wind or rain or by lightning. Repair work has begun and gas will be restored within two days.

This is not the first natural disaster for Georgia this year. Heavy rain affected different regions several times already. In March, Batumi and Gori had faced storms; in April hail destroyed the harvest in the Kakheti region, in eastern part of the country, which was again affected by the heavy rain and hail later in May; while in July heavy rain affected the villages of Senaki in western Georgia.