Heavy rain and hail this weekend hit nearly all the regions of Georgia, damaging local homes and farms.
Heavy rain & hail hit Georgia’s regions
By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, May 22
A hailstorm which lasted about 20 minutes damaged vegetable plants in Jariasheni and Variani villages in Gori Municipality, Shida Kartli region.
Moreover, frost destroyed orchards in Gori region last week. Houses were left without roofs as a result of strong winds in the village of Sobisi.
Heavy hail also affected Kakheti region this weekend, destroying vineyards and fruit trees.
The Governor of Lagodekhi claims that the region's anti-hail system was used and it reduced the losses. However, the damage remains extensive.
The rain also wiped out the livelihood a young farmer in the Samegrelo region, totally destroying his 750 bees and their hives.
Heavy rain flooded river Rioni in Tskaltubo Municipality, West Georgia. The river flooded eight houses and nearby vegetable gardens. The water also damaged local infrastructure.
The regional administration of Imereti reports that they are working in “an emergency mode”. According to Vice-Governor Ioseb Khakhaleishvili, headquarters were set up in 12 municipalities of the region that work in the 24-hour regime. The loss in the region will be counted after weather clears up.
"There have been heavy rains in Imereti for a round a week and it damaged several municipalities. The regional administration is working in an emergency mood," said Imereti Vice-Governor Ioseb Khakhaleishvili.
Furthermore, the Emergency Management Agency reports it was necessary to evacuate 13 people from a landslide zone in Borjomi on Sunday.
Bad weather also hit the Kvemo Kartli Region. The Tetritskaro Municipality was the most affected, where the rain and hail damaged roads, vegetable gardens and orchards. The rain collapsed a rock at the village Didi Klde and blocked the road. However, restoration works have already been carried out.
Forecasters say that unstable weather will be maintained throughout Georgia for several days.
The head of the Hydro-meteorological Forecast Center, Svetlana Nioradze, stated that unstable weather will last in both Western and Eastern Georgia until May 25 but the intensity of rainfall will possibly decrease.
However, she predicts further hail in some regions of Eastern Georgia.
The affected locals are asking for assistance from the authorities, saying all their crops and harvest had been destroyed.
Georgia’s Agriculture Minister, Levan Davitashvili, says the state cannot afford to pay compensation to the affected farmers, as the damage is too extensive.
“Around 38,000 hectares of land were damaged across Georgia. The cost of the damage is now in the millions of GEL and the state does not have the luxury to cover such a loss, "said the minister.
Davitashvili advised farmers get their lands insured in the future.