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Devastating storm leaves several villages isolated in Racha

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, August 24
Heavy rain and strong wind hit several villages in Racha Region in North-East part of West Georgia on August 22.

The most affected were the villages Big Ghebi and Small Ghebi of Oni Municipality, where the flooded river completely destroyed the bridge, connecting the villages and damaged the motorway.

The villages were left without electricity supply and water. The river flooded fruit and vegetable gardens, which are completely destroyed.

The wind was so strong that it uprooted trees and left 25 houses and Local Municipal Building were left without roofs.

Heavy precipitation has damaged the infrastructure in dozens of Racha villages.

According to the Oni Municipality, the exact amount of damage is unknown but preliminary calculations estimate that it exceeds 900,000 Gel.

The Oni governor, Gia Lobzhanidze, stated that by the Prime Minister's instructions, the Oni Administration, the Ministry of Infrastructure and all emergency services are mobilized in Racha and the restoration works in progress.

“Access to the bridge is damaged, which in two days will be restored. At the same time, there was no electricity but power supply is restored for now, "said Lobzhanidze.

It should be noted, that the powerful storm also hit Kakheti Region in Eastern Georgia, the day before Racha disaster.

As well as hail, strong wind and heavy rain lashed at the region, causing houses to flood and killing birds and cattle. The turbulent weather also caused a landslide in eastern Akhmeta region, destroyed harvest and closed several roads.

Locals stressed that they had not witnessed such a "terrible” natural disaster in the past 100 years.

The Sanavardo village in the Kvareli region was particularly affected; this area suffered immense damage to local infrastructure and harvests were completely destroyed.

Nearly the same situation was detected in Lagodekhi and Jokolo, local authorities said.

Forecasters predict that the unstable weather in Georgia will continue until the end of August.