Tbilisi Floods – Death Toll Rises, EU Sends Aid to Georgia

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Monday was a day of mourning to commemorate the victims killed in Tbilisi as a result of the floods that struck on 13 and 14 June 2015. Flags on public buildings were lowered to half mast.

Yesterday work re-started on clean-up and search activities, including the area around Mziuri Park, where the bodies of 3 victims have been found in the last 2 days.

According to local media, the body of another victim was recovered from the River Mtkvari in the Gardabani district, around 40 km away from the centre of Tbilisi.

The death toll from the floods disaster now stands at 19, while 6 people remain missing, according to the State security and Crisis Management Council.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s Parliament convened for a special session in Kutaisi on 16 June and approved presidential decrees authorizing use of the armed forces in the flood relief efforts.

Flood Damage May Reach $50 Million

According to Georgia’s Prime Minsiter, Irakli Garibashvili, damage caused by the deadly floods in Tbilisi is “quite substantial and may reach 100 million lari” (about $50 million). His comments were made while visiting some of the worst hit areas of the flooding, yesterday 16 June.

“We are actively working with donors, various international organizations… and we hope that donor organizations will help us to address these problems. We will prepare specific projects and submit to donors to address immediate needs,” he said.

Flood damage, search and clean-up operations. Photo: MIA Georgia
Flood damage in Mziuri Park, Tbilisi – search and clean-up operations. Photo: MIA Georgia

EU Aid for Tbilisi Floods

In a response to the severe and deadly floods in Tbilisi, the European Commission will make additional funds available to help the Georgian authorities deal with the most immediate consequences.

Up to €3 million will be made available to help provide durable housing solutions following the damage. This assistance of the Commission will be delivered through budget support.

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations said: “My thoughts are with the victims of these devastating floods. The European Union stands with the people of Georgia and is ready to help families in Tbilisi rebuild their houses and start a new life. This contribution is an expression of our solidarity with those affected by the disaster.”

The European Commission is also providing €400 000 in humanitarian funding to assist the most affected families. This funding will support the Georgian Red Cross and NGOs in delivering relief, including food, household items such as blankets and cooking kits, water, sanitation and hygiene and medical support.

Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said: “The floods have devastated numerous families in Tbilisi. This humanitarian assistance will address their immediate needs to help them go through this initial phase of emergency.”