Four people, including two children, are missing in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia after three months of rain fell in the region in 24 hours, leading to flooding. Meteorologists hailed the downpours as the heaviest in more than half a century. Many roads were flooded. The provincial premier said of “unimaginable damage”.
While firefighters fight record-breaking forest fires over the Pacific in western Canada, Nova Scotia, located on the Atlantic Ocean, struggles with the effects of downpours, floods and inundation. The heavy rainfall that began on Friday afternoon is rated as the heaviest since Hurricane Beth hit the province in 1971.
Four missing people, evacuations
Four people are being sought in West Hants in the north of the province. Nova Scotia Premier Tim Huston said two children were among them who were traveling in a car during the downpour. Three other people who were in the car with them were saved. Two more people were also missing in the same area after their car was submerged in the water, CNN reported.
In the Lake Fancy area, 435 homes were evacuated, and in Halifax, 750 people were evacuated to local support centers.
In the Windsor and West Hants area, where evacuations were also ordered, there was even a fear that a nearby dam would burst, and such a warning was sent to residents on Saturday morning. There was no breach of the dam.
Many roads have been flooded, some are closed. “The damage is unimaginable,” Huston said, adding that at least seven bridges would have to be rebuilt. Halifax, the province’s capital and largest city, reported “significant damage to roads and infrastructure”.
At one point, over 80,000 customers were without power.
State of emergency
The provincial government of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency on Saturday evening, which will remain in effect until August 5, unless it is lifted earlier, said Minister of Emergency Management John Lohr, quoted in a government announcement. The state of emergency means, among other things, limiting movement in areas particularly affected by floods, gives priority to decisions of provincial authorities over decisions of city and local authorities, which is intended to better coordinate the removal of the effects of heavy rains.
– As rains and the risk of flooding continue, residents should avoid driving on the roads so that rescue teams and critical infrastructure partners can work on making roads available and restoring energy supplies – appealed to Lohr.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that he had spoken with the prime minister of Nova Scotia about the federal government’s support and assured that Ottawa would provide additional assistance to the province if deemed appropriate.
As much rain in a day as usual in three months
Only by 6 am on Saturday, 150 to 250 liters of water per square meter fell, in some areas it was 300 liters per square meter. within 24 hours, according to preliminary assessments by Environment Canada meteorologists, the federal ministry of the environment. That’s as much as it usually drops in three months. The Canadian Press agency reminded that in the provincial capital, Halifax, the average rainfall in July does not exceed 90-100 l / sq m.
Meteorologists estimate that it will continue to rain in the eastern part of the province.
“People shouldn’t assume it’s all over. It’s a very dynamic situation,” Mike Savage, Mayor of Halifax, told a news conference. He added that the city was affected by “downpours of biblical proportions”.
Main photo source: Reuters