Early warning systems for the reduction of natural disasters in Georgia

Nickoloz Beradze
Ministry of the Environment of Georgia, 150 Ave. D. Agmashenebeli, Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia is notable for its very complicated orography. Almost all types of climate on earth are found on its territory, beginning with permanent snow and glaciers areas of the Great Caucasus Range and ending with the steppes of East Georgia and the subtropical climate of the Black Sea coast. It is natural that such a variety of climate results in several kinds of hydrometeorological phenomena. Indeed, all kinds of natural hydrometeorological disasters do occur with the exception of tropical cyclones, most frequently strong winds, downpours, hails, droughts, frosts, and the snow falls and avalanches in the mountain regions. If we add natural disasters like earthquakes and landslides which are not seldom for such a little country, it is easy to imagine the great economic loss in Georgia due to natural disasters. About 70% of natural disasters are of hydrometeorological origin. In Georgia early warning systems for natural disasters do exist at the Department of Hydrometeorology of the Ministry of Environment of Georgia. There is also the governmental co-ordination service of forecasting of natural and man-made disasters and ecological protection of the population. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, Department of Civil Defence and Special Situations at that Ministry is in charge of mitigating the disaster effects. For this there is a special committee at the government of Georgia. Georgian scientists study the above mentioned types of events and formulate their theoretical and practical basis. After the formation of new independent Transcaucasian states, amongst them Georgia, these states joined the international community in its effort of preventing or mitigating natural disasters and their negative economic and politic aspects. The importance of Transcaucasia is underlined by the fact that this region and directly adjacent territory of the Middle-Asian republics have very considerable reserves of energetic resources (oil, gas). Georgia is one of the major transit countries through the territory of which both the great oil and gas pipelines and motor, railway and sea tracks will pass. A project known as "TRASEKA" aims at connecting Europe and Asia with each other along the shortest way. All countries, especially the countries of Europe and Asia, are interested in "TRASEKA". In our opinion the realisation of the above mentioned projects must be promoter by modernised early warning systems. The developed countries of Europe should assist Georgia in their planning and establishing by sharing of their experiences in this.