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Georgia remembers victims of June 13 flood in Tbilisi

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, June 14
June 13 marked two years since the deadly flood of 2015, when due to heavy rain and a landslide, a devastating flood of the river Vere hit the capital in 2015, claiming the lives of 21 people and leaving hundreds homeless. Two people are still missing.

President Giorgi Margvelashvili remembered the disaster day, saying the following days of the tragedy demonstrated the unity of the people, who helped each other and cleaned the city.

“Two years have passed since one of the most dramatic days of our history. June 13 will always remind us irreparable human loss and the destruction of the city center,” the president stated and remembered the victims of the disaster.

The Mayor’s Office of Tbilisi also released a statement, which evaluated the measures and activities carried out by the City Hall since the disaster.

“As a result of the disaster, 84 houses were completely destroyed and 158 houses were damaged. The first category is now almost fully satisfied. Rehabilitation works are underway in the second category,” the statement reads.

Moreover, City Hall says that around 35 affected people who lived in the disaster area received flats and some families were paid compensation. Around 153 people whose vehicles were damaged also received compensation from the state.

As for donations, the Mayor’s Office reports that donations were made by physical and legal entities, as well as budgetary organizations and banks.

“With total assistance and donations, more than 26 million GEL was raised out of which 10,250,000 GEL was transferred by the Cartu Group,” the statement reads.

The Cartu Group is a charity fund established and financed by Georgian tycoon and former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Furthermore, City Hall underlined that the disaster affected infrastructure has been fully restored, adding the expenses cost 40 million GEL.

The flood hit Tbilisi in the evening of June 13 and continued through the night. The landslide at the village of Akhaldaba accelerated the flood in the Vere Ravine; tunnels failed to pass the water and the river damaged the Vake-Saburtalo connecting road, as well as Heroes’ Square, the Tbilisi-Tskneti highway and nearly 20 streets, destroying much of the infrastructure in the disaster areas. Mziuri Park and Tbilisi Zoo were fully submerged and the majority of the animals were killed during the disaster.

The World Bank stated that the flood caused more than 100 million GEL worth of damage on Tbilisi infrastructure.

Despite the deadly flood, Tbilisi Zoo is now fully rehabilitated and it has gained many new animals gifted by a number of foreign countries.