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Death Toll Rises In Georgia Floods

  • RFE/RL's Georgian Service

The death toll from devastating flooding in Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, has risen to 19, the government said in a statement on June 16, adding that 17 of the victims have been identified.

Six Georgians remain missing, as search-and- rescue operations continue.

Heavy rains started late on June 13, bloating the Vere River until a torrent raged through the capital.

The flooding allowed tigers, lions, wolves, and other animals to escape from the city's zoo.

Some of the animals were killed by the floodwaters, some were shot by police, and others were captured and returned to their cages.

It remains unclear how many were shot dead by police, but they include lions, tigers and wolves.

Authorities estimate the damages casued by the flooding at almost $44 million.

The European Union (EU) has said in a statement that it was "ready to deploy assistance to help the country in the aftermath of this disaster."