At least five people were killed in Georgia's capital overnight after torrential rains caused a local river to burst its banks, causing destruction in residential areas, officials said.
Authorities said that a mother with her two children, an elderly woman and an elderly man died in Tbilisi's Ortachala neighbourhood, which was hit hardest by the deluge, after the Kura River flooded on Saturday night.
All five were trapped in their homes and crushed when the buildings collapsed. One of the children was six months old and the other was five.
At least 30 other people sought medical help after the disaster struck.
According to eyewitnesses, the water in some areas rose to three metres, lifting parked cars and damaging numerous houses. The flood also cut off electricity in a number of neighbourhoods.
Gigi Ugulava, Tbilisi's mayor, pledged to provide financial assistance to all flood victims. He was unable to estimate the damage caused by the flood but said it was "quite substantial".
Georgia's military was assisting the rescue effort by helping to clear debris and evacuate people from flooded areas.
Rainy weather in Georgia is forecast for the next three days.
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|F. William Engdahl|