EU offers aid for Dariali Gorge landslide

Dariali Gorge. Photo by Green Alternative., 22 May 2014 - 12:50, Tbilisi,Georgia

The European Commission is offering assistance to Georgia as the country responds to the emergency situation in Dariali Gorge.

President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili discussed last week’s landslide at a meeting in Brussels yesterday.

After the meeting, the official website of the European Commission released a joint statement on behalf of itself and the Government of Georgia.

"Both sides discussed the landslide which occurred in the Dariali Gorge on 17 May. They united in their expression of sympathy to all those affected by the disaster. 

The European Commission offered its assistance to Georgia in responding to the emergency situation,” the statement read.

In the early hours of May 17, a section of mountainside collapsed and caused a landslide near Gveleti village, in the Dariali Gorge in northern Georgia near the Russian border.

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

Earthquake experts spent time at the site to investigate the area, install micro-seismic stations 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

Yesterday, emergency response experts began attempts to build a temporary road through the Dariali Gorge to enable vehicles to pass through the area, which was cut off when the landslide hit last Saturday.