Organized by: David Mhenvali
EVENT DATE Jun 13, 2015
A major flood occurred in the Vere river valley in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, on the night of 13 to 14 June 2015. It resulted in at least 19 human deaths and struck the Tbilisi Zoo, leaving half of its animal inhabitants either dead or on the loose. Following hours of heavy rainfall, a landslide carrying 1 million m3 of land and mud dammed up the Vere river, near the village of Akhaldaba, about 20 km southwest of Tbilisi. The resulting flood inflicted severe damage on the Tbilisi Zoo, a highway running through the Vere valley, and nearby houses, resulting in at least 19 deaths, including three zoo workers. One of them, a 56-year woman, had recently returned to work after having had an arm amputated two weeks earlier after a tiger mauled it. About 36 people were admitted for mild-to-moderate injuries; most of them were discharged from hospitals on the same day. Of the 24 people reported as missing as of late 14 June,6 remained unaccountable for on 16 June. More than 40 families were left homeless and 22,000 people were left without electricity. The Georgian government reported a preliminary estimated flood damage cost of approximately GEL 40 million. The Tbilisi Zoo lost nearly half of its inhabitants. Most of them were killed by flooding. Several surviving inhabitants of the zoo—a hippopotamus, big cats, wolves, bears, and hyenas—escaped from destroyed pens and cages to the streets of Tbilisi and a police unit was employed to round them up. Some of them were killed or recaptured and brought back to the zoo. The media ran footage showing the hippopotamus making its way to flooded Heroes' Square, one of Tbilisi's major roadway hubs, where it was subdued with a tranquilizer dart. The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, mobilized its Tbilisi office to organize an emergency response. The governments of Latvia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Ukraine, Lithuania, the United States, and Russia offered their help.The European Union stated its Emergency Response Coordination Centre was ready to deploy assistance. We need your help .