Earthquake experts monitor Mount Kazbek after landslide

Mount Kazbek is located on the border between Georgia and Russia., 20 May 2014 - 17:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

Earthquake experts are monitoring seismic activity on Mount Kazbek following the devastating landslide in Dariali Gorge, northern Georgia, on May 17.

A team of nine geologists, geophysicists and seismologists travelled to the disaster zone earlier today to install micro-seismic stations at the site and monitor earthquakes.

It is believed a mild earthquake struck at the disaster site a few hours before the deadly landslide on May 17. Some believe the 1.1 magnitude earthquake caused the landslide.

Photo by L. Shervashidze

Georgian alpinist, Levan Shervashidze, uploaded a before and after picture of Kazbek on his Facebook page earlier today, which clearly showed a huge mass of land had slid off the mountainside and into the gully below.

A Ukrainian man died after suffering severe injuries in the landslide. Rescue teams are continuing to search for seven others who remain missing. So far 170 people have been rescued since Saturday morning’s disaster.

A recent spell of heavy rain and bad weather at the Dariali Gorge hampered rescue efforts and emergency response staff were forced to reduce their searching activities.

It is believed one million cubic meters of land mass flew into Tergi River during the landslide.

Today at the site, heavy machinery is being used to carve into the riverbed to create a new path to the dammed water after the landslide blocked roads and the valley floor. Workers aim to widen the new riverbed to let the water flow freely.

To prevent further casualties and injuries, all movement at Dariali Gorge is forbidden in case another landslide hits the area.