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Georgian govt sets up staff to steer elimination of snowfall aftermaths

February 02, 2012, 20:37 UTC+3

Georgia saw the snowstorms as severe as these ones fifteen years ago the previous time

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TBILISI, February 2 (Itar-Tass) —— Georgia's government has set up a special staff for steering the efforts to eliminate the aftermaths of heavy snowfalls, Prime Minister Niko Gilauri said Thursday.

He told the first meeting of members of the staff convened in the olden town of Tskheta that severe frosts, the icing of roads and snow banks have created problems with road infrastructure maintenance, traffic and electric power supplies in a number of regions.

“All the appropriate agencies of power have been put on alert in a bid to clear away the aftermath of the calamity, to resume the normal functioning of automobile roads, and to ensure steady supplies of electricity,” Gilauri said.

Over the past two days, heavy snowstorms have stretched across the entire territory of Georgia, with the thickness of snow cover reaching 1.5 meters to 2.0 meters in the mountainous areas and ranging from 20 centimeters to 50 centimeters elsewhere.

Georgia saw the snowstorms as severe as these ones fifteen years ago the previous time. The fallout of the heavy atmospheric precipitations has restricted traffic on a number of automobile roads and has cut off dozens of townships from the outside world.

The buildup of slush on the cables has put out of operation several dozen power transmission lines in the west and east of the country. The resultant outages have affected about 50,000 households in a number of districts.

Weather forecasts are not very reassuring in the meantime, at least in what concerns the night from Thursday to Friday.

The air temperatures in the capital Tbilisi will most likely stay in the minus 12 C to minus 10 C bracket and will vary from minus 17 C to minus 7 C elsewhere.

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