Month: May 2012

Flash flood kills 5 in Georgia

Flash flood has killed at least 5 in Georgia’s capital – Tbilisi on Sunday, May 13. A heavy rain caused river Mtkvari to swell that swept through several districts of  the capital. According to latest reports heaviest damage was taken at Tbilisi’s Ortachala district where 5 died and 3 are still missing. Electricity was cut off for several thousands of Tbilisians, and according to the official sources 8 villages are isolated in Georgia’s Dusheti region.

A screengrab from RealTV’s live broadcast, which was the only TV station covering the story live.

An image of Tbilisi’s Saburtalo district. Photo from

Rescuers trying to evacuate residents of Ortachala. Photo from Tamuna Mirianashvili

And finally here’s a video that shows what was on air on Georgian TV channels while the rain and flood was sweeping Tbilisi. As said above, RealTV was the only channel that was live from the scene until it stopped to rain.

Magnitude 5.6 earthquake hits Caucasus

5.6 magnitude earthquake has hit Caucasus on May 7, 2012 at 09:40 Azerbaijan time. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) the epicenter was in Azerbaijan’s Northwest, near Georgian boarder. Tremors were felt as far as in Georgia’s west. According to the Georgian Seismic Monitoring Center (GSMC), the epicenter of 5.8 magnitude earthquake was in Georgia’s Southeast 08:40 local Georgian time (Which is the exact same time, because there’s one-hour difference between Azerbaijan and Georgia).

World Press Freedom Day marked by a protest in Georgia [PHOTO/VIDEO]

World Press Freedom Day, May 3 was marked by a protest in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. Journalists, bloggers and NGO representatives gathered on Rustaveli ave., where a staged funeral of Georgian media took place. Some of the protesters brought posters saying “we deserve free media”, “media is not your monkey”, etc. The protest was joined by a group of young Georgians who demand an investigation of a recent suspicious prison death. Here are some photos and a video of the funeral:


Freedom House lists Abkhazia and South Ossetia as separate countries

Freedom House, Washington D.C. based democracy and human rights advocate has recently released its Freedom of Press in 2012 Findings. The report highlights key developments in global press freedom over the last year, including improvements in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and crackdowns in authoritarian states. The annual report includes findings in 197 countries and territories.

Media in Georgia, according to the report is partly free and out of all the countries it’s on 111st place, which makes it a leader in the region (Turkey is 117th, Armenia 149th, Azerbaijan and Russia 172nd).

Freedom House website gives separate findings and articles about each state. Interestingly, under the list of countries in Central and Eastern Europe/Eurasia Georgia’s breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Along with Nagorno-Karabakh and Transnistria) are listed as separate countries.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia are Georgia’s disputed regions that are recognized independent by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, the rest of the world considers it as a part of Georgia. With more than 200,000 IDPs, the conflict is still unresolved and Georgia officially refers to these regions as “Occupied Territories”.