First batch of residents return to fire-ravaged Canadian city


FORT MCMURRAY, Canada: The first convoys of weary, anxious residents returned to wildfire-ravaged Fort McMurray on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), a month after they were forced to flee the Canadian oil city due to the inferno. Physically exhausted and worried about what had become of their homes, the returnees were welcomed by a giant Canadian flag tied to the ladders of two fire trucks and billboards that read “Together we will rebuild” and “We are here, we are strong.” “To the people of Fort McMurray heading home—we will be with you every step of the way,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a Twitter message. By midday 7,500 people—about half the number expected—had returned in an initial wave, their vehicles packed with food, water, gasoline and other necessities, after being told to expect supply shortages. The rest of the nearly 100,000 forced to evacuate the city and surrounding villages on May 3 are scheduled to follow in staggered caravans over the next two weeks, officials said.



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