The ongoing heat wave in western Canada has contributed to hundreds of deaths, according to authorities. Since Friday, 486 sudden and unexpected deaths have been reported in the province of British Columbia, said the forensic medicine of the West Coast province on Wednesday afternoon (local time).
This number is likely to increase. It is 195 percent above the usual average for a comparable period. The authority assumes that the sharp increase is related to the extreme heat.
► Alone in Vancouver Police have responded to more than 65 sudden deaths since the heat wave began. Police officer Steve Addison said in a statement: “Vancouver has never seen such a heat wave. And sadly dozens of people die because of her ”.
The fear: the death toll could rise significantly in the coming days.
The thermometer showed 49.6 degrees Celsius on Tuesday in Lytton (province of British Columbia), as the local weather authority announced on Twitter. That is an “all-time temperature record”. After all: in the coming days the temperatures should go down a bit.
Air-conditioned centers have been set up in the affected region where people can find refuge from the heat. Forensic doctor Lisa Lapointe called for precautionary measures to be taken and people at risk to be helped.
► In the United States, more than 60 deaths in the state of Oregon have now been linked to the heat wave.
An Oregon coroner said 45 deaths were due to overheating. In plain language: the body failed because of the heat when trying to regulate the body temperature. Such cases are actually very rare. The fatalities were between 44 and 97 years old.
Seattle, Portland and many other cities had all-time heat records (more than 46 degrees).