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Canada: British Columbia Reeling Under Floods And Climate Change, Says Report

The torrential rains accompanied by heavy winds displaced at least 17,000 people besides obliterating towns and flooding farms in Canada's British Columbia

Canada

IMAGE: AP


The torrential rains accompanied by heavy winds displaced at least 17,000 people besides obliterating towns and flooding farms in Canada's British Columbia. In addition, Vancouver, Canada's third-largest city, has been cut off from the rest of the country by landslides and washed-out bridges, according to a report by The Washington Post. The province, known for its mountains, coastline and majestic forests, has experienced a significant weather-related calamity for the second time in six months, and experts believe that the two tragedies are likely linked to climate change. 

This year, British Columbia has been ravaged by record-breaking temperatures, wildfires, and floods. Hundreds of people have died as a result of the calamities, including three people killed in the recent rains, and hundreds of millions of dollars have been lost. After crippling the province of British Columbia and the port of Vancouver, which is critical to the country's economy, the impact has spread across the country.

"British Columbia has both burned and drowned in the last six months, so right now what can be a greater evidence of climate change than this," Merran Smith, the executive director of Clean Energy Canada, was quoted as saying by the outlet. In the month of July, the province recorded an unprecedented temperature of 121 degrees Fahrenheit accompanied by severe drought and uncontrollable wildfires. In addition, from June to October, the heat took the lives of 595 people across the province. 

Floods demolish key infrastructure

The floods last week devasted key infrastructure and also resulted in piling up of freight at Vancouver's port, which is Canada's gateway to Asia. The country's supply lines have also been hampered, at a time when American ports are too overburdened to offer much assistance. Experts also believe that the events in this sequence - heat, fire, drought, and flood - could further lead to cumulative consequences.

Meanwhile, according to Rachel White, a professor at the University of British Columbia, it is impossible to draw an exact conclusion that the excessive heat and devastating rains were caused directly by climate change. "We will need to do further research to fully comprehend what's going on. Is this really a sign of climate change, or did British Columbia just have a really bad year?" she wondered, as reported by the outlet. It should be mentioned here that on Wednesday, November 17, British Columbia's premier, John Horgan, had also proclaimed a state of emergency.

Image: AP

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