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Six Killed In Landslide In Western Georgia

The landslide took place in Shovi, a small resort area in Georgia's mountainous northwest famed for its vast forests and natural springs.


This aerial photo taken with a drone shows rescue personnel working at the site of a landslide in the western Georgian region of Racha on August 4, 2023. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP)
This aerial photo taken with a drone shows rescue personnel working at the site of a landslide in the western Georgian region of Racha on August 4, 2023. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP)

 

 

At least six people have been killed by a landslide in the western Georgian region of Racha, the interior ministry said on Friday.

“So far, six bodies have been found during the search and rescue operation,” it said in a post on social media.

It said in an earlier post that rescue efforts were underway and that 140 people had been evacuated. Two helicopters and rescue dogs were involved in the search efforts.

Images showed rescue workers picking through debris that was partially buried by the moved earth.

Teams worked with their hands and with excavators to shift the soil. Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has travelled to the area, his office said.

The landslide took place in Shovi, a small resort area in Georgia’s mountainous northwest famed for its vast forests and natural springs.

Merab Gaprindashvili, a geologist from Georgia’s National Environmental Agency, said Thursday’s landslide was caused by a combination of factors and was unlikely to happen again.

“In particular, there are two glaciers in the headwaters of the river, which are intensively melting. This was accompanied by heavy rainfall,” he said.

Heavy rains and flooding are not uncommon in Georgia, where steep slopes pose a risk of landslides.

In 2008 six people were killed by a landslide in the southern Black Sea region of Adjara.