four people, including two children, missing in flooding in Nova Scotia

Four people, including two children, went missing on Saturday, July 22 following record flooding caused by torrential rains in eastern Canada’s Nova Scotia province, police said.

The two children were traveling in a vehicle that was submerged and three other occupants managed to escape, according to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) spokesman. A search was underway to find them.

Two other people disappeared in similar circumstances, the spokeswoman added. Two of the passengers of this vehicle were saved. Nova Scotia had already been hit hard at the end of May, but this time by the violent fires that also devastated the forests of several other Canadian provinces.

Its Prime Minister Tim Houston stressed during a press conference that the province received about 250 mm of rain in less than 24 hours, the equivalent of three months of rainfall. Mr. Houston has declared a state of emergency in several areas of the province and urged residents not to join the search for the missing because the “Conditions remain dangerous”.

A man in a kayak passes a building toppled by flooding in the Halifax region of eastern Canada on July 22, 2023.

He estimated it would take several days for the water to recede. The torrential rains that have hit the province since Friday evening have cut roads, flooded houses and risked collapsing a dam.

Avenues turned into streams

The inhabitants of the Windsor region, about sixty kilometers northwest of Halifax, the provincial capital, received an evacuation order in the middle of the night due to the risk of the dam breaking.

But the valves of the works were opened on Saturday morning to reduce the pressure. The situation being ” under control “ according to Windsor Mayor Abraham Zebian, the evacuation order has been lifted.

The images from television or social networks have shown roads or avenues transformed into streams and sometimes into real rivers and many abandoned cars.

An abandoned car in a shopping center parking lot in the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Eastern Canada.  July 22, 2023.

In a mid-afternoon update, Environment Canada’s weather services said significant rain is still forecast through the end of the day in the eastern portion of the province, including the Cape Breton region.

Environment Canada observes that it is raining “tropical nature has had a significant impact in some parts of the province” and that precipitation was reported “25 mm per hour in some areas affected by torrential rains”.

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Residents of the province have been told to stay at home as many roads are impassable. About 70,000 customers of electricity supplier Nova Scotia Power were without electricity early in the morning, but the number had dropped to 6,000 by afternoon.

The world with AFP