Around 400 first responders, firefighters, police officers and volunteers are involved in the rescue operations. The deaths of 18 people have been confirmed.
Sixteen people are still missing in Georgia after the landslide that caused extensive damage on Thursday.
The landslide leveled buildings and roads and destroyed bridges in the Shovi hill station in the Racha region. So far, 18 people have been confirmed dead.
Around 400 first responders, firefighters, police officers and volunteers are involved in the rescue operations.
“Two of my sister’s children and their friend were here on vacation. None of the three have been seen,” laments Kako Simonishvili, a relative of the victims.
The accumulated mass of mud is making maneuvering difficult. But the neighbors are overturned with the rescue services.
Algirdas Strioga, a volunteer, says that seeing how everyone is mobilized and wants to participate, “is a great motivation, so you also want to come and do something.”
According to the preliminary conclusions of the National Environment Agency, an avalanche of rocks hit the glacier, causing part of it to collapse. This could have resulted in the release of water trapped under the glacier. The accumulated mass then began to accelerate rapidly in the bed of the gorge.
“The houses were built in the gorge, where the river bed used to be,” explains Merab Gaprindashvili, Head of the Department of Geology at the National Environment Agency. “This is what we have to focus on. What we have to do is make sure that people organize their plots of land, their homes and their infrastructure in a way that can withstand the effects of global warming.”
With efforts to rescue those trapped still underway, according to the Home Office, an investigation has been opened into negligent homicide and violation of safety regulations in mining, construction and other activities.
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