Thousands of people have remained outdoors in Batumi, Poti, Kobuleti and Kutaisi for several hours in fear of a devastating earthquake.
The quake rumors started spreading after tremors early on Wednesday
morning damaged dozens of homes on the Black Sea coast, according to
Georgian television reported the evacuation of hospital patients in
Batumi. Doctors said the patients insisted on the evacuation.
Fishermen said that fish had left the coastal waters, which might be
an omen of a powerful earthquake, Batumi residents told reporters.
The Georgian National Seismology Center told Interfax it was
impossible to forecast an earthquake and the panic was totally
groundless. The center said that quakes happened in the Black Sea along
the Georgian coast in the previous century, although that area was
subject to less seismic activity than the Caucasian Ridge.
Dozens of tremors have happened in the sea at the depth of ten
kilometers, 40 kilometers away from Anaklia, since December 23. The most
powerful of them were the earthquakes on December 23 (5.7 points) and
last night (5 and 5.5 points).