Another landslide north of Quebec City “unavoidable” forced from 187 homes


The Quebec Government was preparing to extend the state of emergency to the neighborhood of Saguenay, Quebec, north of Quebec City on Monday. Recently, about 200 people have been displaced due to the threat of landslides.

Approximately 187 residents had to relocate from the Labay district after the landslide destroyed their homes last week. Dominique Arseno, a spokesman for the city of Saguena, said the city would declare a state of emergency on Saturday night and officially request the state to extend it on Monday night.

In an interview, Arseno said the evacuation area remained volatile and other landslides were “imminent and inevitable.”

“We know it will happen, we don’t know when it will happen,” he added.

Public Security Minister Geneva Gilbeau told reporters on Monday that he was waiting for an official request from the city before signing the state of emergency. She said the declaration would allow Saguenay to bypass normal paperwork, request assets more easily, sign contracts and redirect traffic.

“We need a good reason to declare a state of emergency, but we rarely demand it if the municipality doesn’t need it,” Gilbo said.

Arsenor said emergency levees were built in the affected areas of the city to avoid further movement and prevent further debris and mud from slipping into the area.

Several groups offered to protect the families of refugees, most of whom took hours to pack up and were unsure if they could go home.

Marie-Chantale Tremblay said she called her mother (57) and stepfather (66) shortly before 10 pm on Saturday after seeing people evacuating the La Bay area on social media. say.

“My mom didn’t believe it at first, but everything happened so fast,” Tremblay said in an interview on Monday. “We tried to do as much as we could … they left their homes and left memories.”

Contact Nature, a non-profit organization that owns two campgrounds in Labe, is one of a group that has offered to offer free accommodation to families affected by landslides. Its CEO, Marc-André Galbrand, says five families, including Tremblay, contacted him.

“There are no words. Depending on what’s happening, we’re just as devastated as everyone else,” Galbrand said in an interview Monday. “We will do everything we can to make the migration as easy as possible.”

Meanwhile, residents were scheduled to meet with government officials on Monday about various types of support programs available to those looking for emergency accommodation. According to the Department of Public Safety, those deported from their homes will receive $ 20 a day for living expenses.

Quebec is also offering $ 260,000 to those who can’t go home, Gilbo said.

“The city of Saguena has suffered a lot in the past,” she said of the natural disaster that struck the city. “For now, people are very aggressive for it, but at some point people are sick of it. We’ll be there; we know it’s difficult.”

Didier Pellet, a research scientist at the Ministry of Natural Resources of Canada, who has been studying landslides in the Saguenay region since 1996, says the region is known for its unstable clay soils. According to Pellet, the city meets many criteria for landslides.

The affected area is on a steep hill, and recent heavy rains have made the soil particularly unstable, he said.

Hundreds of residents of San Jean Viany, also in the Saguenay region, lost their homes in May 1971 after a large landslide struck the community and killed 31 people. In 1996, the Chicoutimi River flooded, causing landslides, killing at least 10 people and leaving thousands out.

“These events are still remembered,” Pellet said. “When a landslide occurs, bad memories come back.”

Virginia Ann

Canadian press