Danger of large landslide in La Baie: Massive evacuation completed

THE BAY | Authorities confirm that the evacuation of the 53 additional homes in the La Baie sector ordered on Saturday evening was completed just after 7am on Sunday morning. These new victims will be picked up in the next few hours by the Saguenay Civil Security, which is also working on the construction of a 4 meter high sand dike.

• Also read: 53 more homes evacuated in La Baie

About 200 people are added to the number of evacuees after last Monday’s landslide on 8th Avenue in La Baie.


Evacuation perimeter in La Baie on Saturday 18 June 2022.

Courtesy City of the Bay

Evacuation perimeter in La Baie on Saturday 18 June 2022.

The decision was made by civil security on Saturday after a request from engineers drilling at the top of the hill.

These preliminary results raised fears of the worst while envisaging a scenario similar to the 1971 Saint-Jean-Vianney landslide.

By 7:15 a.m. Sunday morning, all affected residents had left, taking valuable belongings, souvenirs and essential items for an evacuation that could last for weeks.

A meeting is scheduled later in the morning to meet these new victims and take stock of the situation with them.

dramatic

The councilor and president of La Baie district, Raynald Simard, showed up in the evacuated neighborhood on Sunday morning, visibly still shaken by the tragedy that befell his fellow citizens.


Councilor and La Baie Borough President Raynald Simard

Photo Pierre Paul Biron

Councilor and La Baie Borough President Raynald Simard

“I received a lot of text messages last night and it’s dramatic. Knocking on our door to be told, “You have until 7 a.m. tomorrow morning to leave and if you can leave right away, walk away, that’s dramatic,” the elected officials confided, adding, that the citizens still understood the reasons for the drastic measure.

“These people know that we are not doing this to harm them, we are doing this for their safety. They understood.”

Also, the provincial deputy for riding Dubuc, François Tremblay, came early in the morning to see the extent of the situation.


The provincial deputy for riding Dubuc, François Tremblay

Photo Pierre Paul Biron

The provincial deputy for riding Dubuc, François Tremblay

Without wishing to go too far, given that the situation is obviously evolving, he nevertheless acknowledged that the sector may be called upon to change in the future.

“With the new development plans, the bills that have been worked on in Quebec, particularly in relation to the realities of floodplains, it’s definitely that I think that when sectors like this are unstable and vulnerable, it’s going to make sense to move and the possibility.” of building in such areas. It becomes common sense,” the elected official said, assuring that the government would be present to support people “so they don’t feel too much fear and all that that implies”.

sand dike

During this time, the city will work to secure the perimeter to avoid having to order further evacuations in the event of ground movement. In particular, 4 meter high sand dikes are urgently needed to contain debris.

“We want to do this to hold back the mudslide if it ever falls. It would be possible not to evacuate further around,” commented Christian Fillion, head of the management and risk analysis department at the Saguenay fire brigade, briefly on Sunday morning. The total evacuations currently amount to 76 apartments.


On Saturday, during a late-night news conference, his colleague Steeve Julien said the ground beneath the evacuated homes was “very fragile.”

“It goes deep. It could cause a big landslide. The ground is really tight at the moment [à la verticale] and in the next few days they tell us that properties will collapse and the ground will return to its normal slope,” specifies the deputy fire chief.

“By resuming its gradient, it will eat up several yards of land upstream of all that will claim some dwellings.”

Some echoes of the drilling work carried out this week suggest that the engineers traversed a bottom composed almost entirely of clay and water-saturated earth, which would explain the decision to massively evacuate the sector.

“It looks like a mess from below. They told me they didn’t touch any rock or solid,” confided to the Journal a resident of the sector who spoke to the engineers.

More details to come…

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