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Landslide damages houses in Borjomi

22 May 2017
Tori Street in Borjomi (Tinatin Zazadze/Samkhretis Karibche)

A landslide and flood hit parts of Borjomi, a resort in southern Georgia, on 20 May.

Samkhretis Karibche reported that three families were affected most by the landslide, which hit Tori Street. No one was injured and local residents were evacuated from houses by the emergency services.

The cause of the disaster was a buildup of debris in a drainage channel, which blocked the flow of water and flooded houses on Tori Street.

‘My husband was sleeping. We woke him up and ran away. I only managed to grab my jacket. Water destroyed everything. My house is no good for living in anymore’, local resident Nana Egiani told Samkhretis Karibche, adding that she was the one who called the emergency services.

(Tinatin Zazadze/Samkhretis Karibche)

Water and mud flooded basements along Tori Street, and houses on the lower side of the road were damaged by the resulting landslide.

Judo Kelekhsashvili, 79, ran out when he heard the noise.

‘A great mass of land was approaching my house. I was forced to run in my slippers. I had to leave my wife in the house, because if I stayed, the landslide might have killed me’, he said adding that his neighbours managed to rescue his wife, Rusudan, 68.

clean-up works are already underway in Borjomi, and according to the deputy head of the municipality, Anzor Svanadze, they are cleaning the river so that water can flow back into it unimpeded.

(Tinatin Zazadze/Samkhretis Karibche)

‘We will start calculating the losses from tomorrow. There are three families which were severely affected’, he told Samkhretis Karibche, adding that the local government may allocate alternative housing for the families.

Svanadze thinks that there is a danger that there could be a repeat of the landslide, but it’s difficult to determine.

‘There are dangerous areas in Borjomi, and this place is the most dangerous. Landslides are most frequent here’, he said.

Residents of Tori Street also fear that there may be another landslide.

(Tinatin Zazadze/Samkhretis Karibche)

‘It’s raining again; the same thing may happen. We cannot go inside our houses. We spent the night outside with some of our neighbours’, local resident Sergo Egiani said.

Svanadze says that as soon as the losses are calculated, the government will start thinking of preventive measures for the future.

‘I think that in two weeks, maximum a month, we will have the final picture of what we can do and what measures we will take’, he added.  

(Tinatin Zazadze/Samkhretis Karibche)

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