The Canadian Armed Forces are being deployed to help thousands of residents stranded since a storm hit the region on Sunday (11/14/2021) night.
Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau pledged assistance during a visit to Washington DC, USA and said he would rebuild damaged areas.
A woman died in a landslide and two others are missing. Thousands of people remain evacuated after “atmospheric rivers” are long passages of water vapor in the air that transport water from the tropics to the poles. The atmospheric river rains down for two days which is the same as a month’s accumulation of rain.
Officials in the region linked the natural disaster to the effects of climate change. The impact of climate change on storm frequency is unclear, but it is known that rising sea surface temperatures warm the air above and make more energy available to drive hurricanes. As a result, typhoons tend to be more intense with more extreme rainfall.
The world has warmed by about 1.2 degrees Celsius since the industrial era began and temperatures will continue to rise unless governments around the world make sharp reductions in emissions.
In a press conference yesterday, British Columbia Governor John Horgan said the emergency order came into effect at 12:00 local time (20:00 GMT).
Travel restrictions will keep people off flooded roads and ensure that essential items “reach the communities that need them”.
“There is no one who has not been affected or will not be affected by this event since last weekend,” he said.
“These events are increasing in frequency due to human-caused climate change.”
Horgan added that human-caused climate change was the cause of the recent disaster. British Columbia must “warn the other seven billion souls living on this planet to understand that we need to act now to protect us from events like this happening in the future”.
The extreme weather in Canada comes days after world leaders met for the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow.
The same area saw a record high summer heatwave that killed more than 500 people, as well as wildfires, including one that devastated the village of Lytton.
Helicopters yesterday dropped food supplies to a stranded mountain community after landslides destroyed roads and floods submerged a major highway.
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