Natural Disasters & Response

Thousands missing in Libya

The Red Cross and Libyan authorities said today that 10,000 people are missing after a large part of the eastern city of Derna was wiped by floods when dams burst during a storm which also hit other centres. [node:read-more:link]

Quake devastates Morocco

More than 2,000 Moroccans are dead and thousands more are injured after their country was hit by a magnitude 6.8 earthquake. September 8. The worst in the country’s history, flattening many villages, it occurred at a depth of 18.5 kilometres beneath the Atlas Mountains 72 km northeast of Marrakesh. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP confront wildfire protesters

As some residents of the central B.C. region of Shuswap refused evacuation orders due to wildfires in the area August 23, RCMP faced a group of protestors who had hoped to “overwhelm” a highway blockade. The protesters said they did not believe politicians had the right to prevent them from using the road, and that it was illegal for the RCMP to block it. [node:read-more:link]

NWT returnees blocked

Yellowknife residents who evacuated due to wildfire concerns earlier this week are encountering official roadblocks when they try to return. The fact that the fires have not progressed has prompted some evacuees to believe the threat is over but the territorial government said April 23 that it had not cancelled its state of emergency. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. still in state of emergency

Wildfires across B.C. have destroyed structures and forced more than 27,000 people to evacuate as the province remained in a state of emergency today. While some jurisdictions have lifted air quality warnings, reinstatement is always an option and crews continue to fight more than 375 active fires. [node:read-more:link]

Some wildfire evacuees on their own

Northwest Territories residents who evacuated last week in their own vehicles to avoid wildfires and found accommodation on their own evidently can’t expect financial support from their government. Instead, an official said they should seek compensation through their insurance companies. [node:read-more:link]

Profit before safety at Meta?

With wildfires laying waste to many communities western Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau said today that Facebook’s parent corporation, California-based Meta, is putting profit ahead of public safety by blocking Canadians’ access to “unbelievably essential” local news coverage. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. declares state of emergency

Thousands of residents of south-central British Columbia were advised to evacuate August 18 and even more were on standby due to proliferating wildfires. The provincial government also announced that it prepared to make evacuation compulsory if necessary. [node:read-more:link]

Fire evacuations in B.C.

A wildfire state of emergency has been declared in the south-central B.C. city of Kelowna, which has a population of 132,000. Authorities said today that the unpredictability of the situation means that all residents should either evacuate or be ready to do so at short notice. [node:read-more:link]

Yellowknife a “ghost town”

Thousands of residents of Yellowknife and nearby communities threatened by an encroaching wildfire continued to leave the Northwest Territories capital today after a noon evacuation target. Officials said roads would remain open and flights would continue as long as it is safe. Meanwhile, Mayor Rebecca Alta sought to reassure the evacuees that their properties would be protected by the RCMP. [node:read-more:link]

Yellowknife evacuation ordered

An encroaching wildfire has prompted the Northwest Territories to order a phased evacuation of the capital city and environs by noon August 18. “The fire continues to advance and now burns approximately 17 kilometres outside the city,” Environment & Climate Change Minister Shane Thompson said August 16. “Without rain, it is possible it will reach the city outskirts by the weekend.” [node:read-more:link]

Military tackling NWT fires

Canadian Armed Forces personnel and equipment were mobilized today to help the Northwest Territories’ response wildfires threatening several communities, including the capital. The City of Yellowknife declared a state of local emergency late August 14. [node:read-more:link]

Wildfire season expected to last

The current wildfire season across Canada is already the worst on record and government officials say “significant fire activity” is expected to continue into the fall. Federal data show that the more than 5,500 fires reported to date have ravaged some 13.4 million hectares of forest, nearly double the previous record of 7.6 million in 1989. [node:read-more:link]

National fire force suggested

Scientists who research forest fires have suggested that a national firefighting force which could be deployed rapidly anywhere in the country, potentially reducing the need for military intervention. A federal official says “there’s no specific discussion” but the head of the Western Partnership for Wildland Fire Science says the current approach is based “primarily on provincial and territorial responsibility for public lands.” [node:read-more:link]

RCAF responds to N.S. floods

At the RCMP’s request, two RCAF CH-149 Cormorant air-sea rescue helicopters were called in July 22 to assist in evacuating Nova Scotians stranded by widespread flooding in the aftermath of record rainfall. The AgustaWestland aircraft were deployed from 413 Transport & Rescue Squadron at 14 Wing Greenwood and 103 Search & Rescue Squadron at 9 Wing Gander. [node:read-more:link]


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