Rescuers search for victims of landslides in Canada and severed railway lines
Search teams using dogs on Tuesday began searching for people whose cars may have been buried in landslides in the Canadian province of British Columbia, as the country’s two largest railroads reported serious damage to their networks. The storms, which began on Sunday, destroyed roads in the Pacific province, forced an oil pipeline to close and limited land access to Vancouver, the city with Canada’s largest port.
The railway lines operated by Canadian Pacific and Canadian National were both out of service in the towns of Hope and Chilliwack in the Fraser Valley region east of Vancouver, CP said in a notice to customers. Some areas received 8 inches (200mm) of rain on Sunday, the amount that typically falls in a month.
Rescuers equipped with backhoes and dogs will begin to dismantle the large mounds of debris that have choked the highways. “If a piece of machine comes in contact with a vehicle or the dogs point to a person, that’s when we stop andâ¦ dig by hand until we find what they are pointing to. , to confirm if it is a living victim or if it is a recovery, “said Captain John Gormick of the Vancouver Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team said at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
The towns of Chilliwack and Abbotsford ordered partial evacuations on Tuesday. Images posted on social media showed the land under a section of railroad tracks had been washed away.
The Port of Vancouver transports C $ 550 million ($ 440 million) in cargo every day, ranging from automobiles and containerized finished goods to commodities. Malcolm Cairns, a rail consultant who worked for CP, said railways might be able to reroute some shipments using other lines running north to south from Vancouver, but any workaround would be costly and more slow than usual.
“It’s like having a work strike, it’s huge,” Cairns said in a telephone interview. “It will hurt the flow of goods for as long as it lasts.” Authorities in Merritt, some 200 km (120 miles) northeast of Vancouver, ordered 8,000 citizens to leave Monday as the river’s waters rose rapidly, but some are trapped at their homes, the door said. – City talk, Greg Lowis, on CBC.
“We are not confident about the structural integrity of our bridges,” he said. The landslides and flooding come less than six months after a wildfire ravaged an entire city, as temperatures in the province soared during a record-breaking heat dome.
Helicopters flew several missions Monday to rescue hundreds of people trapped in their vehicles when mudslides cut a highway near the mountain town of Agassiz, about 120 km (75 miles) east of Vancouver . Storms forced the closure of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which carries crude oil from Alberta to the Pacific coast. The line has a capacity of 300,000 barrels per day.
($ 1 = 1.2558 Canadian dollars) (Written by David Ljunggren; additional reporting by Nia Williams in Calgary, Rod Nickel in Winnipeg and Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; edited by Ed Osmond, Jonathan Oatis and Aurora Ellis)
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