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Friday, March 31, 2023

A State of Emergency has been Declared in British Columbia

A state of emergency has been proclaimed in British Columbia, Canada’s western province, after a big storm disrupted road and rail connections in the area.

Thousands of stranded individuals have been stuck since the storm hit overnight on Sunday, and the Canadian Armed Forces have been dispatched to assist them.

During a visit to Washington, DC, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed support and stated that troops will assist in the reconstruction.

A landslide killed one lady and left two more missing.

Thousands of people have been evacuated after a “atmospheric river” dropped the region’s monthly rainfall average in only 24 hours. An “atmospheric river” is a lengthy strip of moisture in the air that transfers water from tropical areas to the poles.

Climate change has been blamed by officials in the region for the natural calamity.

Although the influence of climate change on storm frequency is unknown, we do know that rising sea surface temperatures warm the air above, making more energy available to generate hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons. As a result, with more severe rainfall, they are likely to be more intense.

Since the beginning of the industrial period, the planet has warmed by around 1.2 degrees Celsius, and temperatures will continue to rise unless governments throughout the world drastically reduce emissions.

In a press conference on Wednesday, British Columbia Premier John Horgan said the emergency order went into force at 12:00 a.m. local time (20:00 a.m. GMT).

Travel restrictions, he added, will keep people off flooded highways and guarantee that necessary products “go to the people who need them.”

“There isn’t a single individual who hasn’t been impacted or will be impacted by the events of this past weekend,” he said, adding that “these occurrences are becoming more frequent as a result of human-caused climate change.”

Mr. Horgan stated that British Columbia must “bring the seven billion other souls on this planet to recognize that we need to act now… to safeguard ourselves from these sorts of future calamities.”

Rachel White, an atmospheric scientist at the University of British Columbia, told reporters that the storm’s tremendous destruction was likely caused by a mix of human-induced variables.

“As the climate warms, severe rainfall events like this will become more extreme,” she warned.

“More water is evaporated from the oceans as the atmosphere warms and the waters warm. When we experience these atmospheric river episodes, the atmosphere may effectively convey additional water towards our mountains.” Rain forms as a result of this condensation.

Due to logging and wildfires, old-growth trees with deep roots have been eliminated, increasing the danger of landslides when it rains. Prof White added that human growth in flood plains, as well as the use of non-absorbent asphalt, increases the danger of flooding.

The severe weather in Canada comes only days after world leaders convened in Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit.

In the same location, British Columbia, a record-breaking heat wave killed more than 500 people and caused wildfires, one of which burned the community of Lytton.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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