TEHRAN, May 8, YJC - Torrential rains and waters from melting snow have been causing flooding across large parts of Canada over the past days, prompting officials to triple the number of soldiers deployed to help evacuate victims in one province.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -
The main provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec have been dealing with the fallout from the rising levels of waters.
The combination of torrential rains and water from melting snow has caused rivers to overflow their banks from Ottawa to Montreal, posing critical challenges for people already exhausted by weeks of seemingly unending rainfall.
More than 1,000 people have been evacuated in Quebec Province, the largest number from Gatineau, near Ottawa, the province’s emergency response unit said Sunday.
More than 2,000 homes have been flooded and 140 towns and cities affected, with authorities urging residents to evacuate before it is too late.
In Montreal and eight other localities, states of emergency have been declared. Mandatory evacuations are also taking place in Montreal.
Military authorities on Sunday tripled the number of troops working to evacuate thousands of residents.
The town of Rigaud, west of Montreal, has been hit particularly hard.
The Ministry of Public Safety said waters were expected to crest in Quebec sometime Monday.
Some 450 troops had been dispatched by Saturday to help put sandbags in place and assist with evacuations in Quebec, but that number was set to triple by the end of Sunday.
‘The worst is yet to come’
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard warned the worst was yet to come.
"The water will continue rising over the next two or three days,” he said Saturday after visiting the town of Rigaud, west of Montreal, which has been being flooded for more than a week.
Water levels were rising across much of an area of some 500 kilometers, from Toronto and Lake Ontario and stretching downstream along the St. Lawrence River.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday traveled to Terrasse-Vaudreuil, about 40 kilometers west of Montreal, to survey damage, a spokesman said.
Environment Canada warned that, "The ground, already near saturation, has little ability to absorb further rainfall.”
"Even shallow, fast-moving water across a road can sweep a vehicle or a person away,” it said.
School gymnasiums and other public buildings throughout the area have opened their doors to evacuees.
Meanwhile, in British Columbia, on the opposite side of the country, the same combination of rain and snowmelt has caused flooding and mudslides that left at least two people missing, including the fire chief of the village of Cache Creek, who had been out checking water levels, Presstv reported.
A 76-year-old man, too, went missing after a mudslide Saturday swept away his home in the community of Tappen, CBC reported.
First responders rushed to the scene but were forced to pull back.
Flooding has been reported in the neighboring US, as well.