Extended state of emergency in Saguenay: victims in shock

On Monday evening, 48 hours after the evacuations forced by an increased risk of landslides, it is still the shock wave in the La Baie district of Saguenay.

• Also read: La Baie Landslide: A future landslide is now inevitable

• Also read: Landslide in La Baie: A pet shop helps a disaster victim

The situation is so critical that elected officials have urged Quebec to declare a state of emergency.

And the request was systematically granted.

The victims were picked up by the authorities at the Théâtre du Palais Municipal de La Baie on Monday afternoon.

Even if some feel reassured, the situation remains very abstract for them, especially in the long term.

The hundred new evacuees have been briefed on the Ministry of Public Security’s assistance programs, which they can benefit from just like the previously evacuated residents.

However, it was mainly about the short-term assistance offered, at least for the next three days, with the housing offers, especially by the municipal housing office and the Red Cross. .

The victims had to fill out documents and submit a sample check. You will be called back in the next few days to be informed of the next steps.

“We go for it [pour] Staying in a room with friends for several months is not easy. We also have three children,” said one evacuated mother.

“We don’t have a fixed timeframe, it can take a few days, maybe a week,” lamented a local resident, who is also calling on Prime Minister François Legault to draw up a clearer plan for the procedures to be initiated.

“It’s early, we cleared our houses in the middle of the night, it wasn’t that long ago. I don’t know how far I’m willing to comfort myself now and tell myself there’s no risk,” explained another victim.

“I’m sick of going back to this house!” exclaimed one evacuee resident, who says he no longer feels safe returning to his home if that opportunity arises in the future.

In the meantime, they benefit from an amount of US$ 20 per day per person for living expenses.

According to analysis by engineers at the Ministère des Transports (MTQ) and the company Englobe, people will know better which aid program to rely on.

The latter comes in three parts: stabilization, relocation or severance pay. While some dwellings could be solidified to be re-inhabited, others could be relocated elsewhere.

In the worst case, people receive compensation that currently ranges from $210,000 excluding land to $260,000 including land. Everything has yet to be confirmed.

However, the mayor of Saguenay, Julie Dufour, admits that the amounts are not enough and calls for them to be increased.

Mayor of Saguenay Julie Dufour


Mayor of Saguenay Julie Dufour

“In the current context, where we already have material shortages, where the damage is extremely high, I expect that the compensation for the city will be improved. The only answer we don’t have right now is when there will be a landslide,” explained Julie Dufour.

Prime Minister François Legault also spoke on the subject on Monday.

“We know that someone who loses their home in a situation like this is entitled to $260,000. 210,000 for the house, 50,000 for the land. We’ll see if there’s a need to improve it,” he said.

“A Race Against Time”

The situation is critical, Mr.me Dufour has also mentioned that it is currently “a race against time, nature and man”.

The question is not if another landslide could happen, but when and to what extent? Will the security perimeter be expanded? Everything is possible.

Experts from MTQ and Englobe are currently core drilling, particularly on the underside of the embankment. Security is also increased.

An evacuee told TVA Nouvelles that surveillance cameras with sound will be installed to warn would-be loafers to leave the safety zone and avoid misdeeds.

The fences are also strengthened.

A total of 187 people are currently being evacuated, which corresponds to a total of 76 apartments.

However, decreeing the state of emergency will speed up the process.

Otherwise everyone is holding their breath and hoping for the best for the future as much as possible.

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