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Rescue workers searched for missing people and escaped zoo animals in Tbilisi as drone footage revealed the scale of the damage from deadly floods which tore through the Georgian capital.
At least 12 people were killed by the floods, which gouged huge chunks out of roads and destroyed more than 40 homes. Government officials said at least 10 people remained missing. Drone footage showed debris-strewn highways and miles of stranded cars.
A zoo crocodile was pictured in muddy waters — one of several animals that had to be recaptured after raging waters tore through enclosures in the early hours of Sunday. Some animals, including lions and tigers, remained unaccounted for early Monday.
The disaster happened after heavy rain caused a landslide that blocked what is normally a mild stream that runs through the center of the hilly city. As flood waters grew in strength, a fierce torrent broke through and swept along the stream’s path.
Rustavi 2 Television broadcast pictures showing a hippo swimming in the flooded Heroes' Square in downtown Tbilisi before being recaptured.
Zoo spokeswoman Khatia Basilashvili said four lions, three tigers and two jaguars were killed either in the flood or were on the loose, while the fate of four lions, three tigers and one jaguar was not yet known. The flooding also killed about 60 homeless dogs when the waters inundated a shelter near the zoo, shelter staff said.
The cost of the damage could reach $17.9 million, government officials said.