December 10, 2022

British Columbia sees flood death toll rise; Ottawa promises help

ABBOTSFORD, British Columbia, nov. 17 (Reuters) – The death toll from flash floods and landslides in parts of British Columbia has risen as the federal government declared a state of emergency in the province of Canada on Wednesday.

Authorities have confirmed one death after heavy rains and landslides destroyed roads and isolated several mountain towns. At least three people are missing. Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino says about 18,000 people have been displaced in the Pacific coastal province.

“We confirm more casualties in the coming days,” said British Columbia Premier John Horgan, describing the disaster as an event that occurs every 500 years.

“We will bring in travel restrictions and ensure that essential goods can be transported and reach communities in need of medical and emergency services,” Horgan told a news conference, urging people not to stockpile items.

Floods and landslides have also cut off access to the country’s largest port in Vancouver.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government would help restore the province from what he called a “terrible, terrible catastrophe.”

Ottawa is sending hundreds of airmen to help with the rescue and “thousands more are on standby,” Trudeau told reporters in Washington ahead of the US-Canada-Mexico summit on Thursday.

Some affected cities are located in remote mountainous areas with low access and freezing temperatures.

In Tulameen, northeast of Vancouver, up to 400 people are trapped and many are without electricity, said Eric Thompson, the area’s emergency spokesman.

“(We) recently flew a helicopter and unloaded food,” he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

At Hope, 100 miles (160 km) east of Vancouver, food began to run low. Pastor Jeff Kunn said a quarter of the city’s 6,000 residents are seeking shelter.

About 100 volunteers at the Tuk Nivaran Sahib Gurudwara Sikh Temple in Surrey prepared about 3,000 meals overnight on Tuesday night and then rented helicopters to feed Hope, temple chairman Narinder Singh Walia said.

The second most recent disaster

Cows trapped in flooded barns were rescued by boats and sea dove on November 16, 2021 in Abbotsford, Canada, as rains in British Columbia’s western province of British Columbia triggered landslides and floods, closing highways. REUTERS / Jennifer Gauthier

Disaster may be one of them Very expensive In Canadian history. read more

The second weather-related catastrophic flood to hit British Columbia in the past few months. A Massive wildfire In the same area where some disasters destroyed an entire city at the end of June. read more

“These are extraordinary events that have not been measured before, never thought of before,” Horgan said.

Canadian exporters rushed to divert goods from Vancouver to products ranging from grain to fertilizer and oil. Found some easy alternatives. read more

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited(CP.TO) And the Canadian National Railway Co. (CNR.TO), The country’s two largest rail companies, said their routes to Vancouver were unusable on Wednesday.

After an event called Ann Atmospheric river A month’s worth of rain in two days has caused authorities to worry that another pumping station near the town of Abbotsford, 160,000 east of Vancouver, could be submerged, which has already been partially evacuated. read more

Mayor Henry Brown said volunteers built dams around the station overnight.

“It will buy us some more time, but if there is another weather event like the one we went through, we’re in deep doo (trouble),” he told reporters.

Abbotsford farmers ignored an evacuation order on Tuesday and in some cases actively tried to save the animals from rising water. Tying a rope around the neck of the cow And drags them to a higher place. read more

Provincial Agriculture Minister Lana Pope said thousands of animals had died and others should be euthanized.

Environment Canada has forecast more rain in Abbotsford early next week.

Rescuer Mike Tanks, part of the Abbotsford evacuation team, said the situation was very difficult.

“Most people had elderly parents who could not walk and suffered from dementia,” he told local outlet Black Press Media.

Report by Jesse Winter in Abbotsford, British Columbia, David Lungren in Ottawa, Ismail Shakil in Bangalore, Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Anna Mehler Paperni in Toronto and Nia William in Calgary; Written by David Ljunggren; Editing by Lisa Schumacher and Peter Cooney

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