The Government of Canada has mobilized the military to help rescue people surrounded by ‘historic flooding’ on the country’s west coast near the Pacific Ocean, where heavy rains have led authorities to declare a state of emergency. ’emergency.
The rains left one dead and four missing, forced thousands to flee and isolated the port city of Vancouver in the province of British Columbia.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is in Washington for a meeting with US President Joe Biden and Mexican President López Obrador, said the rains had triggered “historic and terrible flooding” across British Columbia.
Farmland is flooded near homes in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Nov. 17, 2021, Canada — Photo: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
“I can confirm that there are hundreds of Canadian Armed Forces members traveling to British Columbia to help with anything,” Trudeau said.
Provincial Premier John Horgan declared a state of emergency, banned travel and said the rains had “devastated entire communities”. “Unfortunately, we expect to confirm further deaths in the coming days”.
So far, the body of a woman has been found in a landslide area near Lillooet, 250 km from Vancouver.
Storm described by authorities as ‘a once-in-a-century weather event’ wreaks havoc in Canada
The extreme rains come months after a historic heat wave in the British Columbia region killed 500 people and sparked fires.
“These events are becoming more frequent due to the effects of human-induced climate change,” Horgan said.
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The provincial premier also urged people to calm down, after many residents rushed to stock up on groceries and several markets ran out of produce. “You don’t need 48 eggs. Twelve is enough, leave the rest to someone else.”
Hundreds of roads remain closed and Vancouver is isolated from the rest of Canada. Nearly 300 motorists stranded on the roads have already been rescued where the rain has calmed down.
The railways of the city, which has one of the most important ports in the country, were also blocked due to landslides.
A house surrounded by flooding in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Nov. 17, 2021 in Canada — Photo: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
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