SUKHUM / AQW'A ― A severe seven-point storm wreaked havoc along the Black Sea coast of Abkhazia overnight, causing significant damage to coastal infrastructure and private properties, particularly in the Gagra region, as reported by the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Abkhazia.
The storm, which escalated on Sunday night, led to the flooding of pumping and transformer substations and the central water pipeline of Gagra. Numerous private homes and the majority of coastal tourist facilities were submerged, with first floors of buildings heavily affected. Emergency responders are working tirelessly to pump water from these structures, though the storm continues unabated.
In Sukhum, the Mayak microdistrict also suffered, with the first floors of two buildings, including an uninhabited one, being inundated. Two individuals have been evacuated from the flood zone as emergency services and municipal workers strive to prevent further water ingress into the homes.
Contrastingly, the Ochamchira district reported minimal damage, according to Deputy Head of the District Administration Artimon Gabelaya. Strong winds downed trees, disrupting power lines, but no major incidents were reported, and cleanup efforts are underway.
Pitsunda, another coastal city, experienced similar upheaval, with the storm damaging several summer cafes and electric lines while toppling trees. According to Yuri Tarba, an engineer with the Pitsunda Urban Management, some areas like the Kiparisovaya Alley and properties near a poultry farm were particularly affected, though no major emergencies or civilian casualties were reported.
The Abkhazian Railway Company reported no damages on the railway in the Gagra district. However, a fallen tree near Psyrtskha station in the Gudauta district briefly disrupted rail services, though the path has been cleared since.
Meteorologist Diana Trapsh of the State Committee of Abkhazia for Ecology anticipates an improvement in weather conditions by Tuesday, Nov 28. She noted significant atmospheric pressure fluctuations and a sharp drop in temperature, with expectations of a cold front bringing variable winds and possible rain showers and snow in the mountains.
The weather is forecasted to stabilise by Nov 28, with temperatures reaching 6-11°C and winds slowing to 3-8 metres per second, with no precipitation expected.