Seven of the individuals declared missing in Dariali gorge have been identified. They are citizens of Ukraine, Turkey and Georgia, said Interior Minister Aleksandre Tchikaidze on May 20. The minister also said that the Tergi River has returned to its bed easing the search efforts.
Seven still missing
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, May 21
The rock slipped on May 17 near Gveleti village, 20 kilometers from the place where the Dariali Hydro Power Plant (HPP) is currently being built in northern Georgia near the Russian border.
This caused a landslide and the damming of the Tergi. One individual from Ukraine was found dead. The disaster also caused road damage and the suspension of gas transit to Armenia. According to the Georgian Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, intensive movement of ice layers on Devdoraki Mountain caused the disaster in the gorge.
Under the order of the Minister of Internal Affairs (MIA), several watchtowers were established on the highest points of the Dariali Gorge. Border guards are monitoring the disaster zone and will report any danger to the police.
The Ministry reports that the MIA Emergency Management Department has received 18 tons of diesel from the Ministry of Emergencies of Russia in the sector of the gorge that is currently blocked by the landslide restricting Georgiana agencies from supplying rescuers with fuel.
The geologists have concluded that the landslide and mudslide was caused by natural factors and not the technical work being undertaken at the hydroelectric power plant. Therefore it could not have been prevented. The experts have been exploring the disaster area over the past two days. They say that Devdoraki ravine is a dangerous seismological area, adding that a destructive landslide occurred there in 2007 as well.