Sighnaghi is attacked by natural disaster. The landslide has destroyed
part of the main road at the entrance to the town and damaged nearly 40
houses. Representatives of the Environmental Ministry have already
explored the area. Geologists concluded that because of extremely
complicated engineer-geological situation, thorough explorations should
be carried out in Sighnaghi. They should carry out various activities
to prevent the land sliding and it will take long time. Meanwhile, as
specialists claim, the landslide might become more active and many
towns might be threatened with the natural disaster.
According to the official information, with the initiative of the
former Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili, in 2007 the
infrastructure of Sighnaghi was rehabilitated. In fact, only those
districts were reconstructed where foreign tourists often arrive. The
administration of the Kakheti Region Governor declares that nearly 15
million lari was spent from the state budget to reconstruct the town.
According to the reliable sources the exact amount of allocated sum is
much larger and most part of it was not spent on the rehabilitation
works. According to the local residents, despite their numerous
appeals, nobody paid attention to the area which is mostly threatened
“We warned the construction companies that the land was moving down and
asked them to inform authorities about the situation but in vain. Both
district and regional administrations had information about the
situation because Gia Natsvlishvili, Regional Governor, and his
representative visited Signaghi at least every third day. Nobody paid
attention to us; they only wanted to repair and paint the facades of
the buildings in the town. Thus, now we are in the bad situation now,”
said Gulnara Jokhadze, a resident of Sighnaghi.
According to the data received several days ago, nearly 40 houses were
damaged in Sighnaghi. The part of the main street is destroyed near the
village of Chalaubani.
Geologists from the Monitoring and Forecast Center within the Ministry
of Environment and natural Resources arrived in Sighnaghi last week.
The specialists assessed the conditions of the damaged houses and roads.
Geologists do not exclude possibility that old landslide centers will
become active too that might damage more than one hundred residential
“Everything is done in Georgia in “on-line regime”. It was principal
for the government to reconstruct the town rapidly and then give
presentations of the reconstructed Sighnaghi. The government was so
happy that they opened the town at least ten times and assured people
that “Sighnaghi is heart of the world,” However, without carrying out
geological exploration of the area all money is wasted in vain,” said
geologists when visiting Sighnaghi.
Mikheil Avaliani, the head of the Monitoring and Forecast Center,
pointed out in official conversation that dangerous geological changes
are not detected in the reconstructed part of Sighnaghi. “The landslide
became active only in the suburbs,” defined Avaliani.
According to the Ministry of Environment, expert-geologists, in
parallel to Signaghi will explore Adjara and Lechkhumi regions. “Only
after that we will decide what kind of activities should be implemented
to guarantee the security of the population,” stated the officials from
Gela Mtivlishvili, Kakheti.