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SHAKE AND BLOW
Flooding in Canada forces evacuation in another city
by Staff Writers
Montreal (AFP) June 23, 2013


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 miles.

In recent days heavy rains have 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 in a statement.

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

The mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi, said the flooded downtown area of the provincial capital may not be accessible until the middle of the week, nor will there be electricity until then.

Some of the people forced out of Calgary have begun to return home. News footage showed them pumping water from flooded basements.

CBC television said 75,000 people are still waiting for authorities to allow them to go home.

The unusually heavy rains also appeared to have caused a pipeline leak some 70 kilometers (43 miles) southeast of Fort McMurray, according to the Enbridge oil company.

The company said in a statement that it had shut down the pipeline after an estimated 750 barrels of light synthetic crude spilled out of it.

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SHAKE AND BLOW
Lourdes closed, 200 evacuated after flash floods
Toulouse, France (AFP) June 18, 2013
French authorities Tuesday shut the grotto at Lourdes and evacuated about 200 people following flash floods at the Roman Catholic pilgrimage site. The preventive measure came a day after heavy rain and unseasonal snowfall in the area led to rivers flowing well above their normal levels, even cutting off some roads. "The Sanctuaries are closed," the local prefecture of the Haute-Garonne a ... read more


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