Canadian capital of Ottawa declares state of emergency as waters swell

MONTREAL/OTTAWA (Reuters) - Rising waters were prompting further evacuations in central Canada on Thursday, with the mayor of the country's capital, Ottawa, declaring a state of emergency and Quebec authorities warning that a hydroelectric dam was at risk of breaking. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared the emergency in response to rising water levels along the Ottawa River and weather forecasts that called for significant rainfall on Friday. In a statement on Twitter, Watson asked for help from the Ontario provincial government and the country's military

Reuters April 26, 2019 05:05:50 IST
Canadian capital of Ottawa declares state of emergency as waters swell

Canadian capital of Ottawa declares state of emergency as waters swell

MONTREAL/OTTAWA (Reuters) - Rising waters were prompting further evacuations in central Canada on Thursday, with the mayor of the country's capital, Ottawa, declaring a state of emergency and Quebec authorities warning that a hydroelectric dam was at risk of breaking.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared the emergency in response to rising water levels along the Ottawa River and weather forecasts that called for significant rainfall on Friday.

In a statement on Twitter, Watson asked for help from the Ontario provincial government and the country's military.

He warned that "flood levels are currently forecasted to exceed the levels that caused significant damage to numerous properties in the city of Ottawa in 2017."

Spring flooding had killed one person and forced more than 900 people from their homes in Canada’s Quebec province as of 1 p.m. on Thursday, according to a government website.

Ottawa has received 80 requests for service related to potential flooding such as sandbagging, a city spokeswoman said.

The prospect of more rain over the next 24 to 48 hours triggered concerns on Thursday that the hydroelectric dam at Bell Falls in the western part of Quebec could be at risk of failing because of rising water levels.

Quebec's provincial police said 250 people were protectively removed from homes in the area as of late afternoon in case the dam on the Rouge River breaks.

The dam is now at its full flow capacity of 980 cubic metres per second of water, said Francis Labbé, a spokesman for the province's state-owned utility, Hydro Quebec. He said Hydro Quebec expected the flow could rise to 1,200 cubic metres per second of water over the next two days.

"We have to take the worst-case scenario into consideration, since we`re already at the maximum capacity," Labbé said by phone.

The dam is part of a power station that no longer produces electricity, but is regularly inspected by Hydro Quebec, he said.

(Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal and David Ljunggren and Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter Cooney)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.