Three years from Tbilisi devastating flood - June 13 tragedy
13 June, 2018
Three years from Tbilisi devastating flood - June 13 tragedy
June 13, 2015 is one of the most tragic dates in the recent history of Georgia. The Vere small river that crosses Vake and Saburtalo neighborhoods in Tbilisi and flows into river Mtkvari, flooded the city center. The devastating flood that struck the city claimed lives of more than 20 people. The flood swept away the animal cages leaving some of them on loose in the streets, while killing rest of them.

It was not the first time the Vere River
flooded the city. The city witnessed the same natural disaster in the following years 1960, 1963, 1972, and 1995. 3 years after the tragedy, Georgian Journal remembers the story and brings highlights of those days.
Flooding and landslide happen very rarely in Tbilisi

On June 13, 2015, after hours of heavy rainfall, a landslide occurred above the village of Akhaldaba, about 20 km southwest of Tbilisi. The landslide, carrying 1 million m3 of land, mud, and trees, moved down in Tbilisi and dammed up the Vere river at two points, first at a 10m wide channel at Tamarashvili Street and then at a channel under Heroes' Square, a major traffic hub, connected with Tamarashvili Street through the Vere Valley Highway. Tbilisi zoo Mziuri Park and Heroes’ Square located in the vicinity of the river were flooded and subsequently damaged.
Aerial view of former Tbilisi Zoo

The tragedy left Tbilisi in a dire situation. More than 40 families were left homeless and 22,000 people were left without electricity. The Georgian government reported a preliminary estimated flood damage cost from GEL 40 million to 100 million.
Tbilisi residents went altogether to clean the streets. Photo courtesy:

But the story of June 13 is also a story of unity and courage. Ordinary citizens of Tbilisi left their homes and teamed up to help emergency workers to clean Heroes’ square, Tbilisi Zoo and nearby territories. The tragedy united hundreds of people around one goal - helping that in need and gaining back the city that was devastated by the severe flood.
View of destroyed Tbilisi Zoo. Photo courtesy:

After several days since the flooding, Georgia was on headlines of the world media outlets. As far as Tbilisi Zoo was destroyed and animals were set free, photos of a different animals walking in the streets circulated in the internet and world’s newspapers. There was a hippopotamus, walking on Heroes’ Square and nearby streets, the most peaceful one that left the zoo. Unfortunately, a white tiger took life of one man and was subsequently killed by emergency workers at the spot.
Flow of water destroyed several companies located nearby the Vere River. Photo courtesy:

There were funny stories as well. For example, an African penguin was found at the Red Bridge border crossing with Azerbaijan. Apparently it swam nearly 60 kilometers in the river Mtkvari from Tbilisi before reaching the borderline.
Emergency workers clean the territory from dead animals. Photo courtesy:

As the government had promised, the Tbilisi Zoo was moved from current place to Tbilisi Sea area. Here we present the images depicting the great flood and its consequences.
Flooding took life of more than 20 people. Photo courtesy:

First photo courtesy:

Related stories:

Other Stories
Garrincha - Story of endangered bear cub living in Tbilisi Zoo
The FIFA World Cup is just around the corner and it is the right time to get acquainted with Garrincha – an orphaned bear cub,
Minibus carrying kids on excursion falls into ravine claiming several lives
A minibus, taking schoolchildren on excursion from Tbilisi, fell into ravine on Gombori mountain pass,
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain dies in apparent suicide aged 61
American celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has been found dead in his hotel room in France
Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia’s latest fashion – PASSPORT BOOTS
Renowned Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia came up with yet another bizarre fashion item that already became a new topic
Royal wedding of Georgian Prince and famous model

A royal wedding took place in Georgia on June 3. Prince Juan (Ioane) Bagrationi and famous Georgian model Kristine Dzidziguri exchanged vows in a church according to Georgia tradition.

Tbilisi metro stations resume operation
Metro stations in Tbilisi resumed operation. All the metro stations in the city were closed as train drivers went on a strike
Georgian priest detained near occupation line released
Georgian Priest Ioane Okhanashvili, leader of the Dirby church, detained by the Russian military guards has been released.
Hot summer expected in Georgia this year
Summer in Georgia will be hotter than normal, National Environmental Agency reports.
New garden and Bar-Restaurant Azura opens in Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi
The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi hosted an official opening ceremony of a new garden and Bar-Restaurant Azura.
Subway operators go on strike in Tbilisi - Buses to serve citizens for free
All metro stations are closed due to the strike of subway operators in Tbilisi.
International experts working to improve Forest Sector Policy and Governance in Georgia
Georgia is facing many environmental problems, including deforestation that is caused by natural disasters, massive forest fires and illegal logging.
Accident in Tkibuli mine claims 2 workers
2 people fell victim to the accident that has occurred in Tkibuli, in Imereti region of Western Georgia.
Georgia's chief prosecutor resigns over teenagers' murder case after mass protests
Georgia’s chief prosecutor Irakly Shotadze resigned on Thursday after thousands of people gathered outside his office in Tbilisi.
Tbilisi City Court’s verdict on murder of two boys caused outrage among citizens
Tbilisi City Court has delivered a not guilty verdict against one of the defendants for the brutal murder of a teenage boy Davit Saralidze,
The International Republican Institute published annual survey conducted in Georgia
Data was collected throughout Georgia (excluding the occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia) between April 10-22,
The Guardian mocks latest T-shirt by Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia
Extraordinary Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia, the creative director of Spanish fashion brand Balenciaga
Vogue presents best street style looks from Tbilisi Fashion Week Fall 2018
Georgian fashion and extraordinary way of dressing has already attracted interest of foreign media and fashion magazines many times.
Georgia celebrates 100th anniversary of Establishment of First Democratic Republic – What happened on May 26
On May 26, Georgia celebrates Independence Day and 100th anniversary of the establishment of the first democratic republic.
Plastic bottle collector and feeding machines for stray animals to be installed in Tbilisi
Tbilisi City Hall is working on reducing environmental damage caused by plastic bottle remains and comes up with an initiative
M-100 Youth Programme - Excellent opportunity for Georgian journalists to advance their skills
The M100 Young European Journalists Workshop (M100YEJ) is part of the renowned annual international media conference
Café Gallery in Tbilisi opens after being sealed for 10 days by police
Café Gallery night club has officially opened today.
25-year-old Georgian becomes the best police officer of the month in New York
25 years old Georgian police officer Giorgi Eristavi has been working in police department of New York since June 2017.
Tbilisi Mayor and famous footballer Kakha Kaladze becoming a fourth time father
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and the first lady of Georgia’s capital, Anouki Areshidze are expecting fourth baby.
Tourist police officers to assist foreign visitors of Georgia from today
Infantry patrol police officers will start patrolling in Tbilisi as of today.
People gathered in Tbilisi to condemn homophobia and defend sexual minority rights
Although the queer community and their supporters announced that they would not hold demonstration
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
World famous British singer Jessie J has decided to wear clothes made by Anouki Areshidze, Georgian designer and wife of the mayor of Tbilisi.
Bassiani, one of the most popular underground clubs not only in Georgia but throughout Europe as well, has opened today
An amazing video made in Georgia by tourists from the Philippines have gone viral on the internet.
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city.
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs.
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Ms. Sophio Khuntsaria have gifted a food stand
Pamela Anderson, famous Canadian American actress and model has appeared in the chic sunglasses by internationally acclaimed Georgian designer George Keburia.
A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort,in particular at Sadzele 5 lift, has left 8 people with injuries.
The ski lift in Gudauri winter resort in Georgia has broke down in the aftermath of which several people have been injured.
GEL Exchange