Description of the disaster
On 29 July and 3 August 2020, heavy rains hit RachaLechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, Guria and Imereti Regions of Georgia, mainly Oni, Lanchkhuti Municipalities and Kutaisi city, as well as Lagodekhi Municipality, Kakheti Region, affecting 590 households (2,360 individuals).
Additionally, on 1 October, heavy rains caused serious flooding in Batumi, Autonomous Republic of Adjara, inflicting damage to 146 households, (584 individuals) in addition to the 50 households (200 individuals) already affected by July-August disasters. In total, the floods of July-August and October 2020 affected up to 5,133 people and left them in need of support (for region-disaggregated data see table 1).
As a result of heavy rains, several villages in Oni Municipality were isolated from the outside world - infrastructure, such as roads and bridges connecting the villages, riverbank protections, as well as agricultural lands and fruit trees were destroyed. The extensive amount of rain (approx. 125 mm fell in a short period) causing serious damage to the local population’s property. The flooded water destroyed the riverbank protections. People in the affected communities said the magnitude of flooding was unprecedented.
Besides the damages mentioned above, yards, entrances, basements and first floors of many houses and buildings were flooded in all affected Municipalities. Temporary bridges were built in Oni Municipality to connect the isolated communities with the outside world.
Since July 2020, 203 volunteers were mobilized and engaged in the local response activities, including information collection, situation assessment and distribution of food and hygiene items in the targeted locations. The GRCS branches were actively involved in the response and recovery activities and acted in close cooperation and coordination with the local Municipality representatives, according to the NS’s mandate and role allocated to it with the Civil Safety National Plan. Based on the information obtained from the local authorities the main needs of the affected households included household and hygiene items, food, kitchens sets, etc.