EU sends expert team to Georgia following Dariali Gorge landslide

Dariali Gorge. Photo by Green Alternative., 26 May 2014 - 21:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

The European Commission has activated the European Union (EU) Civil Protection Mechanism to respond to the May 17 landslide in Dariali Gorge.

An assessment mission have been deployed and the team of experts will identify potential threats to the local population and recommend an appropriate course of action to respond in the aftermath of the disaster.

The European Commission revealed this information on itsofficial website today.

The Community Mechanism for Civil Protection is a tool that enhances community co-operation in civil protection matters and was established in October 2001, the website read.

Meanwhile, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili discussed the landslide at Dariali Gorge at a meeting in Brussels on May 21.

The Commissioner pledged the EU would offer assistance to the Georgian Goverment in response to the disaster.

At least three people died and several more remain missing following the landslide, which hit northern Georgia's Dariali Gorge on May 17.

The landslide saw a vast amount of debris and mud slide into the valley, causing damage to vehicles and infrastructure.

The collapse of the mountainside also blocked the Tergi riverbed, which created a dam and flooded the main transit road to Russia.

According to the government of Georgia, a risk of further landslides remained. This put the local population in danger and threatened the local infrastructure and the environment.

Access to the area adjacent to the border crossing point remained cut off and a gas supply from Russia to Armenia has been suspended.

Earlier, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili thanked Russia for promptly offered its help in response to the crisis.