UPDATE - Georgia declares day of mourning as 11 killed, 35 missing in landslide

UPDATE - Georgia declares day of mourning as 11 killed, 35 missing in landslide

210 people evacuated from disaster resort region of Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti to safer locations as rescue operation continues

ADDS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION; CHANGES HEAD, LEDE; REVISIONS THROUGHOUT

By Davit Kachkachishvili

TBILISI, Georgia (AA) — Eleven people were killed in a landslide in northwestern Georgia, while 35 others remain missing, the country's Interior Ministry announced on Friday.

Search and rescue operations were launched with 400 rescuers and two helicopters following the incident that occurred on Thursday evening in the resort town of Racha-Lechkhumi and the Kvemo Svaneti region, the ministry said in a statement, while the country's Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili declared that next Monday would be a day of mourning.

The rescue operation continued on Friday, with 210 people evacuated from the disaster area to safer locations. However, 35 people are still missing, the statement said.

Meanwhile, Gharibashvili arrived in the disaster zone and convened an emergency meeting to deal with the situation, the government said in a statement on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Only helicopters are being utilized in rescue and search operations because of the damage to bridges and roads caused by landslides.

Meanwhile, the EU Delegation to Georgia expressed its condolences for the loss of precious lives in the incident.

"EU Delegation expresses heartfelt condolences to family & friends of those who tragically lost their lives due to devastating landslide in Shovi," the delegation said in a statement posted on X.

"We closely follow ongoing rescue & evacuation operations & hope that those missing & stranded in a disaster area safely return home," it added.

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