Canada: Flood ravaged British Columbia declares state of emergency, military deployed

A state of emergency has been declared in the Canadian western province of British Columbia after a major storm cut road and rail links in the region.

The Canadian Armed Forces are being deployed to help thousands of stranded residents who have been trapped since the storm hit overnight on Sunday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged assistance during a visit to Washington DC and said troops would help rebuild.

One woman was killed in a landslide, and two people are missing.

Thousands of homes in British Columbia were evacuated after an “atmospheric river” dumped the region’s monthly rainfall average in just 24 hours.

All 7,000 residents of Merritt, about 120 miles north-east of Vancouver, were ordered to flee their homes.

British Columbia Premier John Horgan said the emergency order took effect at 12:00 local time in a news conference on Wednesday.

He said that travel restrictions will keep people off flooded roads, and ensure that essential goods will “reach the communities that need them”.

“There’s not a person that hasn’t been affected or will not be affected by the events of this past weekend,” he said.

“These events are increasing in frequency due to human caused climate change.”

Mr Horgan said British Columbia must “bring the seven billion other souls that live on this planet to understand that we need to act now… to protect us from these types of events that will happen in the future”.

The storm comes after British Columbia suffered a record high heat wave over last summer that killed more than 500 people, and wildfires that destroyed an entire town.