At 0830 we found a Georgian official, who insisted we had breakfast before travelling to meet with the Minister of Police for a briefing.
At 1130 the team were taken by coach with police escort (Lada) to Cabache, a large town in the Sachkhere province. This town had suffered some minor damage to 2 storey houses and medium damage to a few public buildings, again of the small 2 storey type. The damage consisted of displaced roofs and damage to exterior walls.
We were taken to a military compound to meet with the local co-ordinator, a Georgian mountain rescue team member, who advised us that the rescue role was finished in this area and that we should move to Ambrolauri, an area near Oni where there were several villages to be searched. With him were some French medics who stated that there was no shortage of food or blankets, and that the helicopters had been grounded because of overcast weather.
On the way to Ambrolauri we were to stop at Kutaisi and get information from the Prefect of the region.
On arrival at Kutaisi at 1900 we were told to unload our equipment into a hotel as we would be staying there for the night and that our bus had to return to Tbilisi and more transport would be arranged in the morning.
At this stage the two interpreters disappeared to return a short time later with another mountain rescue co-ordinator, who was in charge of all rescue and medical relief in Georgia, he asked us to return to Cabache, to an area where search dogs had located persons buried beneath a landslide and he required confirmation if these persons were alive.
At 0030 on the 4th we arrived at Cabache and had a meeting with the Prefect for permission to work in his area. Plans were made for a few hours sleep and an early start searching the landslide area at first light. By 0530 these plans had been altered, reliable information was received that the landslide was up to 30 metres deep and consisted of top soil and water. It was then decided to travel with the Georgian co-ordinator and French medics to the town of Dzhava. This town had been mentioned previously by language students from Moscow assisting in the rescue work.
Dzhava lies about 100 k north of Tbilisi and was under the control of Red Army troops.
Before we could travel, once again problems started to arise, interpreters could not be found and the bus driver refused to take us to the Djava region; we needed permission to travel to the area.
After a further meeting with the Prefect another bus and driver were found and the equipment was transferred, the interpreters were found and permission was granted to travel.
We arrived at Gori, (65 k north-west of Tbilisi) where a meeting had been arranged with another Prefect.
At this meeting the Prefect stated that all rescue work in the region had been completed and the reports he had received from other regions stated the same, he thanked us for coming to help and presented the team with a medallion.
A team meeting followed, and the decision to return to the U.K. was made.
Arrangements were then made by the Georgian Red Cross for a flight to Moscow at 2300 and the team arrived in Moscow at 0100 on Sunday 5th.
We were met at the airport by five cars of the Georgian Representative and raced through Moscow to the Georgian Representatives residence where we were to be accommodated.
Monday 6th May, all equipment was checked and packed ready for transportation to the airport a 1030 to catch the BA flight to Heathrow at 1600.
As usual we were well looked after by BA flight crew and arrived Heathrow at 1700 London time.
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