FLOODING IN GEORGIA (EUROPE) PRODUCES UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

IN NEWS REPORTS:

Europe

Georgia flood: Tbilisi residents warned over zoo animals after devastating flood

    • 14 minutes ago

 

Media captionRayhan Demytrie reports from Tbilisi Zoo on the devastation caused by the flood

Heavy flooding in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, has killed at least 12 people, with officials warning people to stay indoors to avoid animals that have escaped from a zoo.

The missing animals include tigers, lions, bears and wolves. Three of the dead people were found within the zoo.

A hippopotamus was cornered in one of the city’s main squares and subdued with a tranquiliser gun.

Rescue workers are searching submerged homes to check for trapped residents.

Dozens of people have been left homeless.

‘Hellish whirlpool’

Tbilisi Zoo spokeswoman Mzia Sharashidze told InterPressNews agency that three bodies had been found in the zoo, including those of two employees.

A handout picture provided by the Georgian Prime Minister's press office shows a runaway bear sitting on the window of the second floor of a building on the flooded street in Tbilisi, Georgia on 14 June 2015
People have been told to stay indoors until the animals have been found
A man shoots a tranquilizer dart to put a hippopotamus to sleep at a flooded street in Tbilisi, Georgia, 14 June 2015
The hippopotamus was tranquilised, but some animals have been killed
A municipal worker sits near the body of a lion at a flooded zoo area in Tbilisi (14 June 2015)
A lion was among the animals who died
Deer in Tbilisi zoo (June 2015)
It is still not clear exactly how many animals remain on the loose

She said the grounds had been turned into “a hellish whirlpool”.

Ms Sharashidze said wolves, lions, tigers, jackals and jaguars had been shot dead by special forces or were missing.

The bodies of a lion and a pony lay near the zoo.

The flooding began when heavy rains caused the River Vere – normally little more than a stream – to burst its banks.

Thousands of people have been left without water and electricity while others have had to be airlifted to safety.

Mayor Davit Narmania said the situation was “very grave”.

Several main roads have been destroyed while small houses and cars were swept away.

Coffins in a city cemetery have reportedly been washed out of the ground and left lying on the mud.

Flood damage at Tbilisi zoo
A large part of the zoo in Tbilisi remains under water
A damaged area near a flooded zoo in Tbilisi, Georgia (14 June 2015)
The flooding has also caused major damage to roads and property

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has called on residents to stay indoors until the animals have been found.

President Giorgi Margvelashvili has visited affected area and extended his condolences to relatives of the victims.

It remains unclear how many are animals missing. Helicopters are circling the city as part of a search and rescue operation.

Vice-mayor Irakly Lekvinadze estimated the preliminary damage at $10m (£6.43m).

In May 2012, five people were killed in Tbilisi after another river flooded.

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