Floods Hit Vake and Saburtalo, Zoo Animals Escape

A section of Tbilisi center was flooded after heavy rains last night with residents becoming trapped in their houses in Tbilisi’s Vake and Saburtalo district. Rescue workers have been helping relocate them.

The rains caused River Vere, part of which lies underground along the Mziuri valley, to swell and damage road and residential infrastructure.

Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania confirmed that two people were seen being swept away by the river in Vake neighbourhood and their whereabouts were still unknown. Others were taken to hospital and there are reports of a number of deaths as a result of the flood. A special committee has been set up on special order of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili to deal with the disaster and monitor the rescue process. The Interior Ministry said soldiers had been mobilised and would join rescue officers if needed. 

Furthermore, the flood led to the escape of several animals from Tbilisi Zoo, including over 30 dangerous predators (6 lions, 6 tigers, 7 bears and 13 wolves). The police strictly advises the citizens to refrain from going out in the streets. 

"Special services are now trying to return animals back to Zoo and I believe it will happen shortly,” he said. Mayor Narmania confirmed. “I ask people not to panic, stay calm and not to leave their homes.”

Updates to follow.

Photograph - © Civil.ge

14 June 2015 09:56