Flooding in Canada grows worse

AFP-JIJI

Canadian authorities in the western city of Medicine Hat on Sunday ordered the evacuation of buildings in low-lying areas after flooding killed three people and forced 100,000 to flee.

Some 10,000 residents have started leaving their homes in Medicine Hat, the sixth-largest city in Alberta, with a population of 60,000, after the South Saskatchewan River overflowed its banks, swamping several square kilometers.

In recent days, heavy rain has caused several rivers in western Canada to overflow their banks, and at one point a state of emergency was declared in more than 20 towns, including parts of the provincial capital, Calgary.

Some 1,000 troops as well as several military planes have been sent to Alberta to assist rescue teams, the Canadian military said.

Three bodies were found Saturday in the town of High River. A fourth person has been reported missing.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the city’s flooded downtown area may not be accessible until the middle of the week, and electricity will also be out for several days.