Georgian PM confirms damage from flood in Tbilisi could reach $45 mln

Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili confirmed on Tuesday what was previously suggested: that the damage caused by a devastating landslide and flood in Tbilisi could exceed original estimates and reach 100 million lari (about $45 million)

Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili confirmed on June 16 what was previously suggested: that the damage caused by a devastating landslide and flood in Tbilisi could exceed original estimates and reach 100 million lari (about $45 million).

"The picture is changing from day to day, and the size of the damage could possibly reach 100 million lari," Garibashvili said at a June 16 meeting with families affected by the disaster, who have been accommodated at government residencies in Tskhneti outside Tbilisi.

The government is doing all it can to help the victims and to make life easier for Tbilisi residents within the next several weeks until the situation in the city is brought back to normal, he said.

"The damage is quite substantial. We are actively working with donors and hope that they would help us overcome the problems that have arisen," Garibashvili said.

Donor organizations have already been familiarized with urgent projects to which they can make their contributions, and everything will be settled within the shortest possible period of time, the prime minister said.

Intensive cleanup and restoration efforts are being made in the areas affected by the disaster, and ordinary people, especially young ones, are actively involved in the process and are demonstrating exceptional solidarity, he said.

According to official information available at the present time, fifteen people have died and seven others remain unaccounted for following a heavy rainstorm with hail that caused a landslide and flood on the river Vere in the early hours of June 14. Dozens of families have been left homeless, a number of residential houses and a zoo have been flooded, and roads and other municipal infrastructure have been severely damaged. The staff at Perm Zoo said they are ready to send animals to the flood-hit zoo in Tbilisi, if need be.

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