Municipal authorities on Friday denied that several flooding events in Yerevan in recent months had been caused by errors in the design of a number of newly built road infrastructure facilities, instead blaming them on an excessive level of precipitation and clogging of major rain drainage systems with garbage and dirt.
Last month the Yerevan municipality set up a commission of experts to look into the causes of a massive flooding in some parts of the city following a heavy rainfall on July 8. Within a short while, the flooding turned several streets of Yerevan into canals, with residents and cars stuck amid rising water. Some rescue effort was reportedly required on that day. Apart from some property damage, the floods caused no loss of life or major injuries.
In particular, the commission said the reconstruction of the bed of a small river flowing through Yerevan was not the reason for the accumulation of rainwater in one of the downtown streets.
Environmentalists in Armenia have claimed that the narrowing of the bed of the Getar to accommodate it for the construction of a motor subway that would relieve busy traffic in the city center is the main cause of the floods as they argue that the broader riverbed prevented similar events in the past.
Frunz Basendzian, who is in charge of the construction and city improvement department at the Yerevan municipality, said specialists had established that “the flooding of the two newly constructed motor subways had nothing to do with the work carried out on the Getar bed.”
The official the said the flooding was the result of sudden large streams caused by an intensive rainfalls descending from the upper parts of the city that picked up along their way large amounts of mud, sand, leaves and other garbage, which ultimately resulted in a clogged up drainage system.
He said the commission had also recommended the construction of a garbage filter on the river Getar at the point where it enters the city center area to avoid similar situations in the future.
According to Gagik Khachatrian, another municipality official in charge of the utilities sphere, as many as seven rain drainage points in Yerevan are not designed to handle precipitation that exceeds the norm.
The latest case of flooding in Yerevan was reported on Thursday as a broad street in the capital’s southwestern district became impassible for vehicles in consequence of a heavy rainfall.