5 die as river bursts banks in Georgia's capital

AP News
Posted: May 13, 2012 7:48 AM
5 die as river bursts banks in Georgia's capital

A flood killed five people in Georgia's capital overnight after torrential rain caused the local river to burst its banks, officials said Sunday.

The Agency for Emergency Situations said that a mother with her two children, an elderly woman and an elderly man died in Tbilisi's Ortachala neighborhood after the Kura River flooded Saturday night. All five were trapped in their homes and crushed when the buildings collapsed. One of the children was six months old; the other was five.

At least 30 people sought medical help.

According to eyewitnesses, the water in some areas rose to 3 meters (10 feet) and lifted parked cars. Electricity was cut off in a number of neighborhoods.

Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava pledged to provide financial assistance to all flood victims. He was unable to estimate the damage caused by the flood but said it was "quite substantial."

Georgia's military was assisting the rescue effort by helping to clear debris and evacuate people from flooded areas.

Rainy weather in Georgia is forecast for the next three days.