5 years since deadly Tbilisi flood: officials pay tribute to victims, heroes

The day following the deadly flood on June 13, 2015, Tbilisi was an entirely different city; it was obvious that something major had happened the previous night. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

Agenda.ge, 13 Jun 2020 - 13:40, Tbilisi,Georgia

Five years have passed since the Georgian capital of Tbilisi was hit by a deadly flash flood, which turned out to be the city’s worst human and infrastructural disaster in decades, claiming 21 lives, with the remains of two still missing.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia and Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze paid a tribute to the victims of the deadly flood and praised the young heroes who have saved lives.

First of all, I want to send condolences to the citizens who lost their family members, but at the same time, this was a day of great unity”, PM Gakharia said.

Stressing that this is a very tragic day for Georgia, Gakharia said the young citizens had expressed ‘a huge power and energy’ of solidarity, unity and care.

Mayor Kaladze also thanked everyone who volunteered five years ago after the ‘tragic night’.

Hundreds of Georgians took part in the after-flood activities. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

More than 1,000 people from up to 200 families lost their homes or businesses in the natural disaster;  84 houses were fully destroyed while 158 others were seriously damaged.

Tbilisi Zoo lost almost half of its animal population when the flood waters swamped the animal park in the late hours of June 13.

The disaster damaged homes, businesses and other infrastructure on more than 20 streets in central Tbilisi.

One of the houses damaged during the flood. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

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

More than 26 million GEL was donated by local and foreign citizens, private companies and foreign countries to charity funds to assist the flood victims.

This also included 10.25 million GEL from the Cartu Foundation - a charity fund established by Georgian tycoon and ruling party chairperson Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.