However, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pointed out during a recent news conference, linking those factors amid an ongoing tragedy risks appearing insensitive to the residents’ ordeal.

“Anytime we try to make a political argument out of one particular disaster, I think there’s a bit of a shortcut that can sometimes not have the desired outcome,” he said.

To that end, many are instead focusing their attention on contributing to rescue efforts. Rabble‘s Mercedes Allen writes:

In Calgary, evacuees were greeted with solidarity from Syrian refugees who had resettled in Canada after fleeing war at home. One woman, Rita Khanchet, who was granted asylum in Canada along with her husband and son just five months prior, posted a message in Arabic to a private Facebook group for new immigrants that read, “[Canadians] gave us everything. And now it’s time to return the favor.”

The post was shared to the Syrian Refugee Support Group page, and offers of help reportedly came within hours. “All the Syrians are saying, ‘I’m ready to give, I’m ready to give,'” the group’s co-founder, Saima Jamal, told the Calgary Herald.

Meanwhile, on the ground, evacuees described seeing “apocalyptic” scenes as they were escorted out of town on the truck convoy. One resident, Erica Decker, who was forced to take shelter in the worker camps until the evacuation continued, told the Guardian that her family “knew we wouldn’t have anything to go back to.”

“It was like something out of a movie,” she said of their fiery exit to Edmonton. “It was absolutely apocalyptic. There were vehicles stranded everywhere. The sky was black and orange. There were—and are still—so many people trapped.”

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