At least 8 people are dead, according to reports

By Adam Carlson
June 14, 2015 11:30 AM
Tinatin Kiguradze/AP

Disastrous flooding in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, the result of torrential rains this weekend, has killed at least eight people and left many escaped zoo animals roaming the area, according to multiple reports.

“We haven t seen anything like this in Tbilisi before,” Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said, according to the Washington Post.

The capital lies along a river valley, and its million-plus residents were caught in the floodwater overnight Saturday, according to the Post.

Tigers, hyenas, lions, a crocodile a hippopotamus were among the many animals escaped from the Tbilisi Zoo, according to the paper: “Six of 17 penguins were saved; the rest washed away.”

About half of the zoo’s 600 animals were missing, according to CNN.

Officials have asked citizens to remain indoors as they try to capture the animals, several of whom have already been either subdued or killed (after officials said they were left no other option), according to the Post.

Work continued to rescue those who were stranded by the water, as roads and cars were washed away.

A bear tries to save itself from a flooded zoo area in Tbilisi, Georgia, on June 14, 2015.
Beso Gulashvili/AP

Three zoo workers are among the dead, according to The Guardian – including a woman who had recently been mauled by a tiger and had just returned to work – and the zoo itself is almost “totally destroyed.”

“It’s an unbelievable tragedy,” one surviving employee said.