- The Canadian province of British Columbia on the Pacific Coast declared a state of emergency on Wednesday after heavy flooding and landslides triggered by record-breaking rain over the past several days.
- Officials have confirmed one death from the landslide on Monday and feared the death toll could rise.
- The Canadian government has deployed its air force to the region to aid in evacuations and support disrupted supply chains.
The Canadian province of British Columbia on the Pacific Coast declared a state of emergency on Wednesday after heavy flooding and landslides triggered by record-breaking rain over the past several days.
officials have confirmation of a death The death toll from the landslide is expected to rise on Monday. Officials also said it could take weeks for the province to recover from the torrential rains of the storm, which hit southern BC between Saturday and Monday. Thousands of people are stranded and looking for shelter.
The Canadian government has deployed its air force to the region to aid in evacuations and support disrupted supply chains. Flood conditions have cut off transportation routes between BC’s lower mainland and the interior of the province and cut off all rail access to Canada’s largest port in Vancouver.
“We’re sending help your way,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. “We have approved the province’s request for assistance, and we will have more @CanadianForces members on the ground as soon as possible – to keep you safe, support supply chain routes, and provide other needed assistance.”
The flooding disaster comes less than six months after an extreme heat event scorched BC, Canada’s westernmost province, in the summer, breaking temperature records and causing hundreds of heat-related deaths. Climate change has contributed to more frequent and intense weather events such as wildfires, droughts and floods.
British Columbia Premier John Horgan described the disaster as occurring once in 500 years during a news conference on Wednesday.
“We will bring in travel restrictions and ensure that transportation of essential goods and medical and emergency services are able to reach the communities that need them,” Horgan said.
“These are very challenging times,” Horgan couple, “I have been on this forum over the past two years, now talking about the challenging times we have faced, the unprecedented challenges with public health, the wildfires, the heatwaves and now the catastrophic floods that we have faced. Never seen that before.”
“For those who understand and recognize that these events are increasing regularly due to the effects of human-caused climate change, there is hope,” he continued, calling for the province to rapidly reduce carbon emissions by 2030. alluding to the plans. “We need to act now to make changes to our community and our economy that will protect us from incidents like this in the future.”
Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said during the briefing that thousands of animals had been killed and hundreds of farms were still affected by the floods. Popham vowed financial and veterinary assistance for farmers whose livestock have been harmed.