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More than 30 vehicles stranded in zone hit by heavy landslide

October 03, 2011, 12:01 UTC+3

Eight people who received minor injuries were hospitalized in Alaverdi

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YEREVAN, October 3 (Itar-Tass) —— A total of 33 vehicles have been stranded on a motorway in the northeast of Armenia hit by a heavy landslide. Three people were reported missing, the Armenian Ministry for Emergency Situations said on Monday.

Heavy freight trucks scattered like toys , overturned Zhiguli cars stuck in the mud , wave-like hollows made in the ground and broken asphalt is a classical picture of "the apocalypse" seen 250 meters up the Vanadzor-Bagratashen motorway which connects the towns of Alaverdi and Noemberyan.

All- in-all eight trucks with trailers, two automatic cranes and 23 cars remain stranded in the landslide zone. Two freight trucks from Georgia and a car from Bulgaria are among the vehicles damaged by the landslide.

The landslide damaged energy transmission lines, which cut power supply to the settlements of Airum and Lchakadzor and a local railway station, which seriously impedes search and rescue operations in the landslide zone. Weather forecasts said that a heavy rain which began in this area several days ago would continue for several more days.

Eight people who received minor injuries were hospitalized in Alaverdi, said Director of a local medical Center Stepan Mosinyan. They were given first aid and went home, Mosinyan said. Deputy Chief of the Armenian Rescue Service Colonel Nikolai Grigoryan said that they have information about three missing people. Two of them were a passenger and a driver of a Mercedes car found with no people inside.

The Armenian regional Rescue Service has called on the Armenian population to provide information about people who might have been hurt after being trapped in the landslide zone. Thus, the wife of the Mercedes car driver had informed that her husband was missing.

Armenian Minister for Emergency Situations Armen Yeritsyan arrived in the emergency area. The Armenian Center for crisis management has been working in an emergency regime.

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