NEWS
04/30/2019 15:33 EDT | Updated 05/02/2019 11:19 EDT

Montreal Emergency Workers Warning People Against Taking Flood Selfies

An operations chief is warning people to not come by "if you have no reason to be here."

Montreal first responders are warning against so-called disaster tourism after noting a spike in selfie-seekers in neighbourhoods threatened by swollen rivers.

An operations chief with the Montreal fire department says his teams have seen many people who don't live in the affected areas milling about makeshift dikes and other flood-relief infrastructure, snapping photos and selfies.

The fire department's Martin Guilbault says all they're doing is getting in the way of emergency workers who are trying to keep the areas secure.

Guilbault says he personally observed the phenomenon, and people have been asked politely to leave.

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He says the dikes have been made in a matter of days and aren't permanent infrastructure, and he doesn't want onlookers possibly damaging them.

Emergency officials also don't want to have to deal with outsiders should one of the dikes give way, creating an extreme emergency.

"Don't come by if you have no reason to be here," Guilbault said, summarizing his department's message Tuesday.

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