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Death toll hits four from flooding in western Canada

AFP logo AFP 20/11/2021 AFP
A satellite image taken on November 20, 2021 shows flooded fields after record rain fall in British Columbia © Handout A satellite image taken on November 20, 2021 shows flooded fields after record rain fall in British Columbia

The death toll from record flooding in western Canada has risen to four, with a fifth person still missing, local authorities there said Saturday.

Torrential rains hit southwestern British Columbia last Sunday and Monday causing widespread flooding and landslides that damaged or destroyed roads and bridges.

The body of a woman was found on Monday, near a large section of highway that had been swept away by a mudslide.

That highway, which links Vancouver to remote northern parts of the province, was reopened Saturday for "essential travel only," the authorities said.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed Saturday that the bodies of three men listed earlier as missing have now been found near Duffey Lake, northeast of Vancouver.

"We have been continuing the search for one more man, however search efforts have been hampered by weather and site conditions," Sergeant Janelle Shoihet of the RCMP said in a statement.

The authorities have had to ration fuel as the area struggles with storm-related supply difficulties.

Individuals are being limited to purchases of no more than 30 liters (eight gallons) of fuel at the pump -- a measure that might remain in place for 10 days, according to Mike Farnworth, the province's minister of public security.

The Trans Mountain pipeline, a crucial link carrying oil from the huge petroleum industry in Alberta Province to the west coast, was temporarily closed by flood damage.

Farms have struggled to obtain needed supplies. In Abbotsford, where the army was deployed to deal with severe flooding, four tons of feed were delivered to a pig farm by helicopter on Saturday, the authorities said.

More heavy rain is expected in the coming week in the region, which was hammered earlier in the year by a record heat wave and then devastating wildfires.


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