Tbilisi Flood

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I woke up on Sunday morning to an influx of messages and phone calls to Shota’s phone. We soon discovered that the intense rainfall from the night before had caused the River Vera to burst it’s banks and flood most of the surrounding area, most severely being the city Zoo.

A few weeks ago, Shota and I visited the Tamaz Elibarashvili Dog Shelter which flooded and needed food and medical supplies, as well as people to clear the mud. You can see more here. Unfortunately for the dogs, this shelter among others flooded even more the second time, meaning a lot of the dogs (and bears) didn’t survive.

It was recommended not to go outside, and especially not to the Zoo area. The enclosures were old and some without ceilings which meant several animals including lions, tigers, wolves, bears and a hippo escaped. Some of which are still roaming Tbilisi now.

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Over half of the animals in the zoo drowned, and the zoo itself is almost non-existent now where it’s been washed away. Even more terrible is the people living nearby in small houses who lost their homes and some, their lives.

When we arrived, police were blocking people coming in to limit those who were cleaning up. It’s a dangerous situation still and more people just cause more chaos, but it was so encouraging to see so many people turning up to help.

The volunteers are working hard, although it’s times like this where more organisations should be in place to support and control such situations. Georgia is a poor country, so accidents like this cause devastation that can last for years to come.

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What local people are doing is delivering food, blankets, clothes, medicine and water to those who are homeless (both human and animal).

You can donate internationally to several fundraisers which have been set-up to support different affected areas.

Support Tbilisi Hippo Fund for all-around support for the people and animals affected by the flood. Depending on the level at which you donate, you receive a tshirt, although all donations big and small make a huge difference.

Support Georgian Animal Shelter Fund for the dogs and cats who have been left without homes yet again. Their Facebook page is updated often to show you how exactly you’re helping the beautiful dogs and cats of Tbilisi.

Support this WeHelp campaign to help rebuild Tbilisi, although the website is in Georgian. 

Support this IndieGogo campaign to help relieve flood damage, which is reported to be atleast $18 million worth (over 40 million lari).

You can also donate via Red Cross to support the victims of the flood who have been left homeless. 

Donate to the bank organisation below to support the people whose homes were destroyed in the flood. Damages are estimated around $18 million, which is about 40 million Lari. Every donation makes a huge difference.

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If you’d like to find out more, you can find various news articles and videos covering the disaster. BBC released two reports which you can view here and here, although they contain some heartbreaking shots of the dead animals. CNN, The New York Times and The Guardian, to name a few.

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It’s hard to imagine the devastation caused, even more so when it’s happening where you are. The thing that brought everything home to me despite not being able to help yesterday was a cat Shota and I saw walking down Aghmeshenebeli Avenue (Marjanishvili, very close to the zoo). This poor cat was so battered and bruised. His fur was ruined, face swollen and bald on one side, skin raw. We brought him some sausage for him to eat, and he was quite quick and energetic, although couldn’t eat it well because he must’ve been so sore. He’d definitely been swept away by the water, it’s incredible that he survived. I couldn’t stop crying, I can’t even imagine the hell these people and animals went through, it’s truly heartbreaking.

The other thing was hearing news that Shumba, a beautiful white lion who famously made friends with a little dog (see my video here from a few months ago), was shot, because he was considered a risk to society. The zookeepers confirmed that he was one of several animals at the zoo who could easily be controlled as he was raised in captivity. Poor guy.

It upsets me even more to think that the escaped animals might be shot now when they’re found, so not to risk anymore danger to society. White tigers have been shot, because there’s nowhere else for them to be kept. It’s inexcusable, and sickening. My only solace is in thinking that atleast these poor creatures are free from their suffering in such harsh conditions and small cages that they’d been confined to.

As much as I’m proud of everyone for being so eager to come together and help, I’m appalled at the authorities of Tbilisi who are not only slaughtering such incredible, beautiful and endangered animals, but who could’ve done much more to avoid such horrific events in the first place.

It’s so important to ensure there are precautions and logical planning in place within cities, especially when water is concerned. Don’t let this happen again, support the people trying to make a change who can get to the wild animals before the police services who don’t know how to handle them.

Here are the details again:

Support Tbilisi Hippo Fund for all-around support for the people and animals affected by the flood. Depending on the level at which you donate, you receive a tshirt, although all donations big and small make a huge difference.

Support Georgian Animal Shelter Fund for the dogs and cats who have been left without homes yet again. Their Facebook page is updated often to show you how exactly you’re helping the beautiful dogs and cats of Tbilisi.

Support this WeHelp campaign to help rebuild Tbilisi, although the website is in Georgian. 

Support this IndieGogo campaign to help relieve flood damage, which is reported to be atleast $18 million worth (over 40 million lari).

You can also donate via Red Cross to support the victims of the flood who have been left homeless. 

Donate to the bank organisation below to support the people whose homes were destroyed in the flood.

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All donations are welcome and greatly appreciated, thank you for taking your time to read and donate if you can.

Edit: This photo below was taken by Dogs of Tbilisi who have also included the following information to donate directly to the main animal shelter:

On Saturday night, torrential rains once again caused the Vere River to flood, far worse than ten days earlier. The Tamaz Elizbarashvili dog shelter, which was already badly damaged from the previous flooding, was completely destroyed. The number of casualties is not yet know. Around 100 surviving dogs have been found, some of which have been taken in by the G S P S A – ს ძაღლების თავშესაფარი / G S P S A Dog Shelter. • შაბათს ღამე, საშინელმა წვიმებმა კიდევ ერთხელ გამოიწვია მდინარე ვერეს ადიდება, ამჯერად მსხვერპლი ბევრად მეტი იყო ვიდრე წინა ჯერზე. თამაზ ელიზბარაშვილის ძაღლების თავშესაფარი, რომელიც ისედაც დაზიანებული იყო, მთლიანად გადანდგურდა, დაახლოებით 100 ძაღლი გადარჩა, რომელთა ნაწილიც წაიყვანეს G S P S A – ს ძაღლების თავშესაფარში.

This shelter does not currently have the resources to care for so many dogs, some sick and wounded. • თავშესაფარს არ გააჩნია რესურსები ამდენი ძაღლების მოვლისთვის, რომელთაგან ბევრი დაშავებული და ავადმყოფია.

Please consider making a donation to help hem purchase the food, medicine and supplies needed. See below for details. • თუ გსურთ მათ დაეხმაროთ, რომ შეიძინონ საკმარისი რაოდენობით საკვები, წამლები და აღჭურვილობა, შეგიძლიათ თანხა გადმორიცხოთ მათ ანგარიშზე, საბანკო რეკვიზიტები დოლარში, ევროში და ლარში გადმორიცხვისთვის ქვემოთ არის მითითებული.

BANK DETAILS FOR TRANSFERS IN US DOLLAR
IN FAVOUR OF CUSTOMERS OF JSC BANK OF GEORGIA
Intermediary Bank
Citibank N.A., New York, USA
SWIFT: CITIUS33
Account With Institution
Bank of Georgia, SWIFT:BAGAGE22;
3, Pushkin Street, 0105 Tbilisi, Georgia
Beneficiary: GEORGIAN SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION AND SAFETY OF ANIMALS
Account: GE94BG0000000166248000
Tel.: (995 32) 2444 444
E-Mail: welcome@bog.ge

BANK DETAILS FOR TRANSFERS IN EURO
IN FAVOUR OF CUSTOMERS OF JSC BANK OF GEORGIA
Intermediary Bank
Commerzbank, Frankfurt, Germany
SWIFT: COBADEFF
Account With Institution
Bank of Georgia, SWIFT:BAGAGE22
3, Pushkin Street, 0105 Tbilisi, Georgia
Beneficiary: GEORGIAN SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION AND SAFETY OF ANIMALS
Account: GE94BG0000000166248000
Tel.: (995 32) 2444 444

BANK DETAILS FOR TRANSFERS IN GEL
IN FAVOUR OF CUSTOMERS OF JSC BANK OF GEORGIA
მიმღების ბანკი: სააქციო საზოგადოება ”საქართველოს ბანკი”; ბანკის კოდი: BAGAGE22
მიმღების დასახელება: არაკომერციული რეგისტრირებული კავშირი (ასოციაცია) ”სცდგს”საქართველოს ცხოველთა დაცვის და გადარჩენის საზოგადოება”
მიმღების ანგარიშის ნომერი: GE94BG0000000166248000
ტელ.: (995 32) 2444 444
ელფოსტა: welcome@bog.ge

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17 thoughts on “Tbilisi Flood

  1. Karen Rees says:

    I read a few news reports about this online yesterday… utterly devastating for people & animals alike. Both loosing their homes & lives. It’s times like this when we really have to pull together as a global community to help in anyway possible. Karen xo

    Like

  2. eminthecaucasus says:

    Please also consider donating to Georgian Red Cross. They already have staff and infrastructure in place, so they can use donation money immediately upon receiving it, and they’ve been down there working hard from the get-go. Unfortunately, the cool kids haven’t been sharing their donation link. It’s here: https://www.ammado.com/community/157373 (this link let’s you split between the general fund and earmarked for flood relief, as you wish) Within Georgia, you can also apparently donate to them via payboxes and mobile phone.

    Like

  3. elle superstar says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. How coincidental that you are living in Georgia as I am still thinking about the zoo animals. I am a passionate animal rights advocate, and I was devastated when I heard the news.

    Like

  4. Thistles and Kiwis says:

    I hear a man was killed by a snow tiger yesterday and that the zoo director is taking the blame. Thanks so much for posting this blog post. I linked to your post in my last blog as I thought it an important story to get out.

    Like

    • itstartedinoxford says:

      Yes it’s so sad but he was. Apparently another tiger is still on the loose as well. I haven’t heard anyone taking responsibility, they’re so quick to blame others. It’s really insane what’s happening, I find it hard to wrap my head around that it’s a reality (and haven’t left the house since!) There are a lot of rumours too and even news channels are reporting without things being definite, noone seems to know what’s going on!

      Like

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