Canada's Niagara region declares state of emergency ahead of influx of eclipse viewers

Tourists take photos in front of Niagara Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada June 28, 2022. [Reuters]

Ontario's Niagara Region has declared a state of emergency as it prepares to welcome up to a million visitors for the solar eclipse in early April.

The total solar eclipse on April 8 will be the first to touch the province since 1979, and Niagara Falls was declared by National Geographic to be one of the best places to see it.

The city is in the path of totality, where the moon will entirely block the sun's rays for a few minutes. Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati said earlier in March that he expects the most visitors his city has ever seen in a single day.

The regional municipality of Niagara is proactively invoking a state of emergency to prepare for the event. The declaration announced Thursday sets in motion some additional planning tools to prepare for the day, which could involve major traffic jams, heavier demands on emergency services and cell phone network overloads.

The eclipse will reach Mexico's Pacific coast in the morning, cut diagonally across the United States from Texas to Maine, and exit in eastern Canada by late afternoon. Most of the rest of the continent will see a partial eclipse.

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