Heavy rains force evacuations, trap motorists in Canada

Heavy rains force evacuations, trap motorists in Canada


This handout photo from the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Safety shows a mudslide closing Highway 1 between Popkum and Hope, east of Chilliwack, Canada as relentless rain battered the country’s Pacific coast November 15, 2021.

Relentless rain battered Canada’s Pacific coast on Monday, forcing evacuations and sending mudslides, rocks and debris across highways that left motorists trapped east of Vancouver.

“Heavy rains and subsequent mudslides/flooding have impacted various highways in the BC interior,” British Columbia’s transportation ministry said on Twitter.

Rescuers were deployed to free up to 150 people trapped in their cars and trucks between two mudslides near the town of Agassiz, according to local reports.

Officials did not immediately confirm how many people had been pulled from stranded vehicles.

In the city of Abbotsford, outside Vancouver, authorities ordered more than 100 homes evacuated in several neighborhoods threatened by flooding and mudslides.

The town of Merritt, 190 kilometers (120 miles) east of the coastal city, also urged residents to leave.

Emergency centers were set up in both communities for displaced residents.

Environment Canada said in a statement up to 250 millimeters (almost 10 inches) of was expected by the afternoon in and around Vancouver, which was also hit last week by a rare tornado.

“A significant atmospheric river event continues to (bring) copious amounts of rain to the BC south coast today,” it said. “Heavy rain will continue this morning and ease this afternoon as the system moves inland.”

The comes after British Columbia province suffered record-high temperatures over the summer that killed more than 500 people, as well as wildfires that destroyed a town.


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© 2021 AFP

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Heavy rains force evacuations, trap motorists in Canada (2021, November 15)
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