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Tchuberi Village of Mestia Flooded, cut from rest of Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, July 9
The Tchuberi village of Mestia region in the Western part of Georgia is heavily flooded, houses destroyed, bridges and the local infrastructure seriously damaged.

No casualties have been reported so far as locals and tourists were evacuated timely.

The central and the local governments admit that the damage in huge in the village which is very attractive for tourists.

They also say that the reason of the disaster was the collapse of the cliff which caused the raging mountain torrent.

The Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze, who arrived at the scene on the second day of the flooding, last Friday, stated about the importance of installation of early warning systems, but added that the natural disaster could also be caused by the “permanent cut of trees.”

The Georgian Minister for Refugees Sozar Subari has stated that 21 houses and the local infrastructure have been heavily damaged in the village.

“21 houses are damaged. 7-9 of the houses are not likely to be habitable when the disaster ends,” Subari stated.

Bakhtadze vowed the timely rehabilitation or the purchase of houses, as well as compensation for the affected population.

He stated that if the specialists say that certain places in the village will not be habitable in the future, the government of Georgia will relocate some families.

Some media outlets and individuals on social networks stated that the reason of the disaster could be the Nenskra Power Plant, which is being built in the village amid harsh protest of locals, who believe that the power plant will encourage natural disasters in the area.

However, the Nenska Hydro, the company standing behind the power plant, dismissed the speculations and said that the disaster took place five kilometres far from the construction site and that since the start of 2018 the company has not conducted any works.

The Head of the Green Alternative NGO, Manana Kochladze stated that cutting of trees in Svaneti was prohibited in 2015 and if the government knew about such illegalities then it is under question why the appropriate state bodies failed to address the problem.