This past week British Columbia braced its second climate calamity. During the summer, Vancouver experienced massive wildfires and unprecedented high temperatures. Now the Canadian province declares a state of emergency due to massive flooding and landslides.
So far, more than 30 people are missing, 6,000 people seek shelter, 400 people are trapped in Northeast Vancouver without electric power, and mudslides have destroyed roads that have left mountain towns completely isolated in freezing temperatures. These floods and mudslides are a once-in-500 years event.
“These are extraordinary events not measured before, not contemplated before.” Says John Horgan, the Prime Minister of British Columbia.
Such climate disaster is the atmospheric river phenomenon, where two months’ worth of rain is dumped in only two days. This has not only affected the livelihoods of people but global supply chains. There has been a significant mudslide in one of the largest Canadian ports in Vancouver, which has blocked the nation’s shipping and transportation of imports and exports.
The aid provided to the affected populations through helicopter flights, plus the losses experienced in the local economy and supply chains, is one of the most expensive disasters in Canadian History. Such natural disaster proves the degrees of the climate emergency we live in, where nature’s power is more potent than our human problem-solving qualities.
Let’s hope that the Canadian officials and their people find shelter, food, and warmth in these unfortunate times.