18 tonnes of diesel fuel was supplied by the Russian side to Georgia to secure uninterrupted work of heavy equipment, cleaning up the area cut off by landslide in the Dariali gorge, the Georgian Interior Ministry said on May 19.
Large amount of debris and mud, brought into the Dariali gorge by the landslide on May 17, blocked Tergi riverbed and destroyed and flooded parts of the main road leading up to the Kazbegi-Larsi border crossing point with Russia, cutting off access to the area adjacent to the border crossing point. The only land access to the area is from the Russian side of the border.
Bulldozers and other heavy equipment, which were involved in construction of the Dariali hydro power plant, were in the area which is now cut off at the time when the landslide hit, and they are now used for the purpose of clearing up the gorge from debris, according to officials.
The only way to reach other side of Dariali gorge up to the Kazbegi-Larsi border checkpoint is by a helicopter flight. But it was not possible to deliver fuel with helicopter, according to the Interior Ministry, which said that fuel provided by the Russian ministry of emergency situations from the Larsi border crossing point secured “unhindered” continuation of work by heavy equipment.
In a written statement released earlier on May 19, PM Irakli Garibashvili thanked Russia for offering assistance in response to the landslide.
One man died and seven people are missing as a result of landslide in the Dariali gorge, which has also damaged pipeline supplying Russian gas to Armenia.