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Tbilisi floods damage estimated at $23 mln - prime minister

June 14, 2015, 20:54 UTC+3 TBILISI

The floods were caused by hours-long torrential rains overnight to Sunday

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TBILISI, June 14. /TASS/. Damage caused by devastating floods in the Goergian capital city of Tbilisi is estimated at about 50 million Georgian lari, or about 23 million U.S. dollars, Georgian Prime Minister Irakliy Garibashvili said on Sunday.

In an interview with the Imedi television channel, he confirmed earlier reports about 12 flood victims and 24 mission persons. "This is the biggest flood in the history of Tbilisi," he said.

The floods were caused by hours-long torrential rains overnight to Sunday. Ground floors of more than 100 houses, underground walkways, squares have been flooded. Water has damaged motor ways, electricity transmission lines and other infrastructure facilities. The territory of the Tbilisi zoo has been partially flooded. Some animals died, some, including predators, escaped from their enclosures.

However, Garibashvili said Georgia was capable to eliminating the consequences of the devastating flood by itself but may need financial aid from abroad. He said several states had offered their assistance. He thanked them for their support but said that no help from emergencies services was needed at the moment. "Georgia has necessary equipment and resources to eliminate the floods’ consequences by itself," he said, adding he did not rule out his country would "need certain financial aid from foreign donors."

Earlier on Sunday, Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov referred an official letter to the Georgian interior ministry extending condolences over human deaths in the calamity and offering assistance in eliminating the consequences of the floods. He said in his letter that Russia was ready to send some 100 rescuers with special equipment to the flooded area. Apart from that, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said the European Union was ready to offer its assistance.

June 15 has been declared a day of mourning in Georgia.

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