Third body found in Georgia's western Guria disaster area

Rescuers of the emergency management service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on Friday found the third body in the disaster zone. Photo: Emergency Management Service, 09 Sep 2023 - 11:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

Rescuers of the Emergency Management Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on Friday found the third body in the disaster zone in Georgia's western Guria region, which was hit by landslides and flood this week.

Temur Mgebrishvili, the head of the Emergency Management Service on Saturday said 62 citizens had been evacuated from the disaster area in Guria, while employees from his agency had been present in the disaster zone, along with the representatives of different units from the country’s Interior Ministry, with heavy hardware being involved in search and cleaning efforts. 

Lanchkhuti Mayor Aleksandre Sarishvili told local media outlet IPN that the employees of the rescue service and the city hall had gone to evacuate five more people from the village of Khoreti.

There is a hotline for people who are left in the areas to give us information if anyone has a problem. Although the situation in the village of Khoreti was bad, at the moment, the water level in the river has already decreased," Sarishvili said.

Photo: Emergency Management Service

Leri Barnabishvili, the Head of the Regional Liaison Department of the Government Administration said there was a list of houses that were no longer suitable for living.

Evacuation of people left in the disaster zone continues. There are locations where there is no road, rescuers are evacuating the population with boats and various special equipment [...] Geologists have started studying the locations that are dangerous and may require the evacuation of the population since the morning", Barnabishvili said.

Ia Mokia, the local government representative in the Black Sea port village of Supsa said that the roads damaged by landslides were currently being cleared and the calculation of the damage caused by the natural disaster had started. 

Yesterday, as soon as the water level receded, the rescue service pumped water from the houses. Nine people have been taken to a safe place and we are still working to reach all the families and count the losses. The damage calculation commission is actively working", she said.

Meanwhile today the Roads Department of Georgia said that a mass of land collapsed as a result of heavy rains on the kilometre 90 of the Zhinvali-Barisakho-Shatili road which caused traffic restriction to all types of vehicles. 

Georgia's emergency service 112 has also sent text messages to the citizens of Georgia, urging local population to "be careful" as heavy rain was expected in most regions of Georgia from September 9 to the morning of September 10.