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Death toll at Tbilisi flood announced

19 June 2015 15:45 (UTC+04:00)
Death toll at Tbilisi flood announced

By Vusala Abbasova

The tragedy, that happened in Tbilisi in the early hours of June 14, injured to 457 people, including 119 children, the National Security Council and Crisis Management said.

The natural disaster claimed the lives of 19 people, while 3 remain missing, Trend reported.

The Georgian authorities are struggling with the consequences of the disaster, which is estimated at 40 million lari ($18 million).

The country's Health Ministry has set on record 106 families, who will receive the land from the government and the mayor's office.

Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri said that the floods victims will be provided with new houses, to which the EU expressed readiness to allocate 3 million euros.

"The experts and geologists will arrive in Georgia to examine the Vera valley and the entire situation in Tbilisi," Khaduri said.

Moreover, the Georgian Parliament decided to render support to families of floods victims by listing of 1 million lari (over $444,000), according to Interfax.

Irakli Garibashvili, Georgia Prime Minister, coming to the Svanidze street on June 18 to honor the memory of the floods and landslides victims, announced that a memorial will be placed in memory of the flood victims in Tbilisi.

The devastating flood in Tbilisi left dozens families homeless, while the zoo, Mziuri park, Tamaz Elizbarashvili's private shelter for dogs, houses and main streets of the city, locating in the Vere River gorge, turned under flood.

The African penguin, which was earlier discovered alive in the river near the Red Bridge on the Azerbaijani-Georgian border, was found at the Georgian gas station. The special services took the bird back to the zoo to a safe location.

Some of the animals belonged to the flooded zoo, were either captured or killed, but the search for the remaining are in the process.

So, escaped tiger have been noticed by residents between the Ethnographic museums and Bagebi region on the Vake district edge in these days.

Earlier, zoo spokeswoman Mziya Sharashidze said that eight lions, all seven of the zoo's tigers, and at least two of its three jaguars were killed. Sharashidze also noted that only two of the zoo's 14 bears survived, while nine of its 17 penguins died.

People are turning out in large numbers to volunteer in relief efforts and to clear affected streets from dirt and mud left after the flooding.

The army force was also mobilized to “respond to the emergency situation” by the order of Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, who promised to allocate funds from the president’s discretionary fund to assist the flood victims families.

Azerbaijani youth, residing in Georgia actively participate in campaigns to help families affected by the disaster in Tbilisi by the Cultural Center of Azerbaijanis. The Center announced that wishers to provide financial and food aid to the victims can creep into the center or to the commission head.

SOCAR Energy Georgia, a subsidiary of Azerbaijan energy giant SOCAR, operating in Georgia also provided its assistance, allocating 10,000 liters of petrol for the Tbilisi Municipality and 50,000 Georgian lari to buffer the impact of the natural disaster.

The June 14 event occurred because of the Vere River, which was dammed up by a large landslide caused by heavy rainfall, on Tskneti-Betania road outside Tbilisi. The blockage then burst, sending torrent of water down towards the capital city.

Georgia has declared June 15 a national day of mourning over the victims of the floods.

EU, Azerbaijan, Latvia, Turkey, Ukraine governments have expressed their readiness to provide assistance.

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