Six months on from deadly flood: Tbilisi continues its recovery

Thousands of youngsters from Georgia and abroad volunteered to help affected families and clean the city’s mud-drenched streets. Photo by N. Alavidze/, 13 Dec 2015 - 10:52, Tbilisi,Georgia

Exactly six months has passed since Georgia’s capital Tbilisi was hit by a deadly flash flood, which turned out to be the city’s worst human and infrastructural disaster in years.

More than 20 people lost their lives in the flood on the evening of June 13, 2015. The bodies of two of these victims have still not been found.

More than 800 people from up to 200 families lost their homes or businesses in the flooding.

Tbilisi Zoo lost almost half of its animal population on the night of June 13.

The disaster damaged the infrastructure of more than 20 streets in central Tbilisi.

On a wider scale, the World Bank evaluation estimated the flood caused more than 100 million GEL worth of damage on Tbilisi infrastructure.

Today marked exactly six months since the Georgian capital began its recovery from the natural disaster. Since then the Georgian Government, foreign governments, private companies and ordinary citizens have united to help Tbilisi return to its former glory.

Donations to the Tbilisi Flood Relief Fund included:

  • Private companies – More than 21 million GEL
  • Citizens – More than 500,000 GEL
  • Foreign governments – More than 400,000 GEL

Meanwhile the Georgian Government, President, Tbilisi City Hall and other reserve funds allocated about 34 million GEL for recovery projects as well as offering new accommodation to those who lost their homes in the flood.

Almost 21 million GEL was gathered as compensation for the flood victims. This money went towards:

  • New homes for 50 families
  • Temporary homes for 109 families
  • One-time financial assistance for 142 families
  • Rehabilitation of damaged houses
  • Cleaning activities
  • Compensations for 19 families who lost a loved one in the flood
  • Funding education for students from the flood-affected families

Tbilisi City Hall calculated almost 24 million GEL was needed to restore destroyed infrastructure in central Tbilisi. This money would be used for:

  • Road rehabilitation
  • Strengthening damaged buildings
  • Renovating drainage systems
  • Rehabilitation of recreation zones
  • Building a new bridge near Mziuri Park
  • Tunnel rehabilitation

Meanwhile about 700 flood-affected businesses were released from bank-related obligations or had their loan repayments postponed, while others were offered easier tax responsibilities.

Looking ahead an additional 50-60 million GEL will be needed to build a new Zoo, after the Tbilisi Zoo was virtually destroyed in the flood.

Tbilisi faces a long recovery but officials believed with dedication, strong community spirit and global support, the city will overcome the challenge.