Damaged road in the Dariali gorge, August 22, 2014. Photo: Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure (MRDI)
It will take at least two weeks to restore portions of road linking Georgia with Russia, which were damaged by a landslide that hit the Dariali gorge close to the Kazbegi-Zemo Larsi border crossing point late on August 20, Georgian officials said on Friday.
Two people – Georgian and Turkish citizens, who were working on a construction site of hydro power plant, were missing as a result of the landslide. A body, which is believed to be of one of the missing persons, was recovered from Tergi river on the Russian side of the border, Georgian officials said on August 22.
Infrastructure of the border crossing point, flooded with mud, has also been heavily damaged, finance minister Nodar Khaduri said.
Kazbegi-Zemo Larsi border crossing point, August 22, 2014. Photo: MRDI
The Finance Minister told journalists in Dariali gorge that efforts are underway to make the border crossing point operational at the time when the portions of road, destroyed and damaged by the mudslide, will also be restored.
PM Irakli Garibashvili, who arrived at the landslide-hit area in Dariali gorge on August 22 after a two-day official visit to Armenia, said that damaged pipeline, through which Armenia gets Russian gas via Georgia, is expected to be restored by tomorrow.
He also said that preliminary estimates show damage only at the border crossing infrastructure of about USD 3 million.
Heavy equipment cleaning up the landslide-hit area in the Dariali gorge, August 22, 2014. Photo: MRDI
Vazha Panchulidze, head of the road department, said that about two-kilometer long portion of road has been damaged – twice much than it was damaged by the previous landslide in the same area on May 17.
“In two days we will have a full picture of scale of this disaster and in two days it will be possible to say precisely how long it will take to restore traffic here,” Panchulidze said.
Dariali gorge, August 22, 2014. Photo: MRDI
Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure, Davit Shavliashvili, said it will take at least two week to restore the road.
It took almost one month to restore traffic via Kazbegi-Zemo Larsi border crossing point with Russia after the previous massive landslide in the area on May 17.