Environment Minister: satellite images confirm "no development of any type of natural processes" before disaster in Shovi

  • Georgian Environment Minister Otar Shamugia said high-quality satellite images taken on August 3 confirmed there had been "no development of any type of natural processes" before the disaster. Photo: Ministry of Environmental Protection

Agenda.ge, 9 Aug 2023 - 16:50, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Environment Minister Otar Shamugia on Wednesday said high-quality satellite images taken on August 3, before the landslide hit the resort of Shovi in the western Georgian region of Racha, confirmed findings in the initial report of the National Environment Agency that said there had been "no development of any type of natural processes" before the disaster.

Shamugia said one of the images confirmed the landslide had started with a rock avalanche, before portions of a nearby glacier broke off and exacerbated the outcomes of the phenomenon that killed 21 people in the resort.

We heard [claims in media] for several days that water was accumulating for two days there, which is not true”, the Minister said.

Preliminary findings published by the National Environmental Agency this week said the disaster in Shovi was unpredictable and caused by intense melting of glaciers, collapse of rock formations in their headwaters, heavy rains, erosive processes and a glacier runoff. 

The report said heavy debris, gaining in mass and force, must have reached and covered the resort site, the "Cottage District, in about eight to 10 minutes. 

Back