By Natalia Olofinskaya
Since childhood my imaginary happy place was always a small house in the mountains besides a river. I am still thinking of that magical place today even as I grapple with traffic jams, urban noise and deadlines.
When I go to this happy place, sometimes I’ll add a few details: a little schoolhouse for my daughter, a farm where we can grow fruit... Essential elements for a truly happy place.
Forest fire response efforts are underway at three locations across Georgia: in Telavi and in Akhmeta municipalities of eastern Georgian region of Kakheti and in Khulo municipality of Adjara in the west of the country.
About 400 employees of the Special Tasks Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were deployed to quell the forest fire near Artana village in Telavi municipality, along with emergency workers and firefighters.
OSCE’s democracy and rights arm ODIHR opened on August 30 election observation mission for Georgia’s October 8 parliamentary polls.
Currently the mission includes a core team of 12 experts from 9 countries based in Tbilisi, which will be joined by 26 long-term observers from September 5, who will be deployed across the country to monitor pre-election developments.
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has requested the OSCE participating states to send 350 short-term observers to monitor election day and the vote counting process.
In the wake of the deadly flood last weekend in Tbilisi, the government is considering set of measures to increase safety along the Vere river channel including installing early warning systems and resettlement plan from high risk zones, PM Irakli Garibashvili said.
“It was a big shock,” he said in an interview with the Tbilisi-based Imedi TV late on Friday night about the flood that killed at least 19 people from the night of June 13 to June 14; three people remain missing.
Damage caused by the deadly flood in Tbilisi is “quite substantial and may reach 100 million lari” (about USD 45 million), said PM Irakli Garibashvili on June 16 while visiting some of the worst hit areas on June 16.
“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,” PM Garibashvili said on June 16.
Fatalities from flooding in Tbilisi increased to 19 people as of Tuesday evening, according to the State Security and Crisis Management Council.
Bodies of a young woman and a man were recovered from flooded Mziuri Park on June 16 and third body was found there later on the same day.
One body was washed ashore by the river Mtkvari in Gardabani, about 55 kilometers southeast from Tbilisi.
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 12 Sep.'14 / 13:21
A cargo plane took off from the Tbilisi airport on Thursday evening, delivering 12 tons of humanitarian aid, mainly medical supplies, to Ukraine.
The aid, worth of about GEL 1 million (USD 570.000), was agreed when Georgian healthcare minister, Davit Sergeenko, visited Kiev in late August.
The aid includes first aid and surgical kits, medical supplies, diabetes medicines, antibiotics and children vaccines, according to the Georgian healthcare ministry.
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 22 Aug.'14 / 20:46
It will take at least two weeks to restore portions of road linking Georgia with Russia, which were damaged by a landslide that hit the Dariali gorge close to the Kazbegi-Zemo Larsi border crossing point late on August 20, Georgian officials said on Friday.
The death toll from a landslide in Dariali gorge increased to three after bodies of two men were recovered on May 23 from trucks buried in debris.
Four people remain missing nearly a week after the disaster, according to the Interior Ministry. Officials initially put the number of missing persons at seven, but later revised it to six. Two of them were confirmed dead after the bodies were found on May 23.
18 tonnes of diesel fuel was supplied by the Russian side to Georgia to secure uninterrupted work of heavy equipment, cleaning up the area cut off by landslide in the Dariali gorge, the Georgian Interior Ministry said on May 19.
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 18 May.'14 / 23:51
A Ukrainian citizen died and at least seven people are missing as a result of landslide in Georgia’s Dariali gorge close to the Russian border, which has also closed down traffic on the road linking Georgia and Russia and damaged pipeline supplying Russian gas to Armenia.
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 26 Nov.'13 / 23:38
Parliament started discussion of a new bill on the status of internally displaced people (IDPs) envisaging, among other issues, increase of monthly allowance for IDPs to GEL 45 and introducing income threshold as criteria for eligibility for this assistance.
Monica Ellena, Tbilisi / 15 Oct.'13 / 23:31
On October 8 the Georgian government signed an agreement with an unnamed “international donor” for almost GEL 500,000 million to build a total of 6,783 flats for internally displaced persons.
Strong winds over the weekend damaged roofs of hundreds of buildings and left tens of thousands of households without electricity in various parts of the country.
In Adjara region on the Black Sea coast high waves flooded parts of Batumi’s seaside boulevard; a fisherman is believed to have drowned after reportedly a large wave dragged him into the sea.
Strong wind either ripped off or otherwise damaged roofs of 150 houses and of several schools in the Adjara region, according to the authorities.
Strong wind, hailstorm and rain hit several municipalities of eastern Georgian region of Kakheti late on Monday.
Roofs of more than hundred houses have been damaged in Gurjaani, Sagarejo and Lagodekhi municipalities and wind also ripped off roofs from about ten residential buildings in Gurjaani, according to the local officials. Croplands have also been destroyed by hailstorm.
Strong wind damaged power lines leaving about 37,000 households without electricity.
The Georgian MoD has sent army engineer battalion to the region to help in clean up works.
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 25 Jul.'12 / 17:58
Parliament passed on July 25 amendments to the 2012 state budget with most of the changes related to allocation of funds for immediate and long-term disaster relief efforts following strong wind, hail and flooding in Kakheti and in some other provinces of the country last week.
Households affected by heavy rains, strong wind and hail will be divided into three categories depending on level of damage inflicted and receive financial compensations ranging from GEL 300 to GEL 1,500, PM Vano Merabishvili said on July 20.
The authorities have started repairing damaged roofs, cleaning up roads, restoring power lines and distributing food items, diesel fuel vouchers and pesticides to locals in Kakheti, heavily hit by the heavy rains, strong winds, hail and flooding overnight on July 19, which wreaked havoc on housing and crop lands in this eastern region of Georgia, as well as in some other provinces of the country.
Heavy rains, strong wind and hail hit several provincial districts in Georgia overnight on Thursday, damaging buildings and farmlands.
Telavi in eastern region of Kakheti was heavily hit with strong wind ripping roofs off buildings and strong hail destroying farmlands. Heavy rain flooded basements of the houses and washed away domestic animals.
Governor of Kakheti region, Giorgi Gviniashvili, said that heavy rain, strong wind and hail caused serious damage to almost all the districts of Kakheti region, but Telavi was most severely hit.
Georgia has offered Russia to send rescue teams and humanitarian aid to assist in relief efforts following flash floods in southern Russian region of Krasnodar which killed at least 153 people.
Georgian President’s spokesperson, Manana Manjgaladze, expressed deep condolences to the families of victims and said that the Georgian rescue teams were “in full readiness” to arrive in flood-hit areas of Russia.
“The Georgian side is also ready to send humanitarian aid; relevant instructions have