'Catastrophic' flooding triggers state of emergency in Canada

WION Web Team
Abbotsford, Canada Published: Nov 18, 2021, 07:00 PM(IST)

A swollen creek flows under a washed out bridge at the Carolin Mine interchange with Coquihalla Highway 5 after devastating rain storms caused flooding and landslides, near Hope, British Columbia, Canada Photograph:( Reuters )

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A phenomenon known as an atmospheric river dumped a month's worth of rain in two days and devastated parts of British Columbia 

Heavy rainfall along with ''catastrophic'' flooding has triggered a state of emergency in Canada.

According to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, ''the historical and terrible flooding has disrupted the lives of people across British Columbia.''

"I can confirm there are hundreds of Canadian Armed Forces members currently headed to British Columbia to help with everything from supplies to evacuation to whatever is needed," he said.

While the downpours forced thousands of people to flee their homes at least three people are missing.

Authorities have so far confirmed one death after torrential rains and mudslides destroyed roads along with trapping motorists and leaving several mountain towns isolated. 

They are extremely worried as a phenomenon known as an atmospheric river dumped a month's worth of rain in two days. 

It carried a narrow strip of moisture from tropical regions toward the poles. The disaster could be one of the most expensive in Canadian history.

Also see | Canada floods kill one person, leave two missing; rail access cut to Vancouver port

''We expect to confirm even more fatalities in the coming days,'' said British Columbia Premier John Horgan. He described the calamity as a once-in-500-year event.

"These events are increasing in regularity because of the effects of human-caused climate change," he added.

In June, a massive wildfire had engulfed the same region. Nearly 500 people had died as a result of British Columbia's record-high summer temperatures.

(With inputs from agencies)

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