Authorities blame most deaths on high temperatures, which keep millions of people on alert in a North America now ravaged by fires
North America is still waiting for the rain as it plunges into unprecedented tragedy. High temperatures, of
up to 49.6 degrees in the Canadian town of Lytton, they inexorably scorch the west of this country and the northwestern United States, where
millions of people are on alert and many of them have had to seek refuge in air-conditioned centers hastily installed in cities such as Vancouver, Calgary, Seattle or Portland, in the State of Oregon where yesterday their authorities reported
65 deaths attributable to heat.
The drama is very serious in British Columbia, the epicenter during the last days of the
‘pressure cooker’, as the experts colloquially call this thermal phenomenon caused by high pressures. It is also known as the Dome for acting as a large dome that traps the air and does not let it leave its interior.
A total of 486 citizens have lost their lives since Friday until Wednesday, coinciding with the most scorching days. Coroners attribute the vast majority of deaths to episodes of sudden death from hyperthermia as their number far exceeds the usual average mortality in this area of Canada.
Your Prime Minister,
John horgan, declared this to be the “hottest week British Columbia has experienced” and has generated
“Disastrous consequences for families and communities”. Among the fatalities, the
people over 60 years of age and people who lived in poorly ventilated homes or with little protection against heat. In some cases, when the emergency services entered the houses they encountered the breath of hell and rooms at 50 degrees Celsius.
For tens of thousands of Canadians the surprise is that thermometers have soared even in cities like Calgary and that the heat has risen far north. Meteorologists consider that
Columbia, Yukon and other affected areas are subject to values up to 20 degrees above normal in this age. Fires and floods are happening and some 3,000 inhabitants of the idyllic Pemberton Valley had to be evacuated yesterday due to the rise in the level of the rivers due to the sudden thaw in the mountains.
The ‘weathermen’ predict that
the very strong heat could gradually dissipate this weekendBut terror is already unleashed by forest fires on both sides of the border, lit by orange skies and pierced by dense clouds of smoke. The
36 fronts opened by flames They have multiplied in Canada and the United States, fueled by extremely dry environments, storms and a powerful and torrid wind capable of turning trees into fuel. One piece of information is enough to confirm that North America is a boiler:
the soil in the American town of Wenatchee reached 63 degrees on Wednesday.
A scorched city
Lytton, the population of Columbia that two days ago also went down in Canadian climatic history for registering 49.6 degrees (and is much further north than Paris), does not exist anymore. At least not all.
Forest fires have engulfed much of the village while its few inhabitants were evicted. The whole town is on fire. Barely 15 minutes had passed since the first smoke signal and, suddenly, there was fire everywhere, “said its mayor, Jan Polderman, yesterday.
US President Joe Biden, who said yesterday that the risk “is greater than ever,” held a virtual meeting with the governors of a dozen states affected by the fires. In the country, 76 people have died apparently from the heat and
more is not ruled out when firefighters enter fire-ravaged wooded areas. In 2020 the fire destroyed four million hectares of fields and parks.