5 of the Worst Natural Disasters in Quebec

The landslide that occurred on June 13th in the La Baie district of Saguenay is a reminder of the natural disasters that struck the province of Belle. Check out 5 of the most important ones that have etched themselves into Quebecers’ collective memory.

The Saint-Jean-Vianney landslide is the one that springs to mind when it comes to the fear of the victims of Saguenay. On the night of May 4, 1971, a 0.32 km2 landslide engulfed part of the commune of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.

It will kill 31 people, including entire families. Only fifteen bodies are found under the rubble. The property damage will amount to two million dollars. If in the days before the tragedy part of the land had been demolished, the specialists confirmed that with the knowledge of the time nothing could have prevented the matter.

For many, one of the darkest times in Quebec remains the ice storm crisis. From January 5 to 9, 1998, the province was hit by a series of violent ice storms, leaving more than a million Quebecers without power for several weeks. The crisis will cause more than 30 deaths and the temporary displacement of 600,000 people. This is the worst ice fall on record in Canada.

On September 19, 1889, a rock broke off the cliff in Lower Town and collapsed in the Cap Blanc district. The landslide, one of the deadliest in Quebec City, was reportedly caused by heavy rain the previous day. The disaster will claim more than 40 dead and others injured.

The 25th anniversary of the Saguenay flood last July. The floods, which claimed thousands of lives and killed a dozen people, hit the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Charlevoix and Côte-Nord regions. The record rains that fell on Quebec on July 19-21, 1996, pushed rivers out of their beds. The natural disaster will wreak unprecedented devastation.

On February 5, 1663, the province’s largest ever recorded earthquake (magnitude 7) struck eastern North America with full force. It will cause large landslides and will be felt as far away as New York, USA. Despite significant material losses, no human casualties were recorded.

Leave a Comment