NAfter the highest temperatures on record, forensic doctors fear dozens of heat deaths in the Canadian province of British Columbia. As a spokeswoman said, about 130 deaths are usually registered there from Friday to Monday. During the same period of the past few days, the authority for the province in the west of the country had been reported to have died. “We assume that the extreme heat contributed to the drastic increase,” said the head of forensic medicine on Tuesday.
Like the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Canada’s west was surprised by a unprecedented heat wave at the end of last week. In the town of Lytton north of Vancouver, where temperatures averaged 24 degrees in June, 49.5 degrees were measured on Tuesday, the highest value ever recorded in Canada. The Prime Minister of British Columbia urged the province’s five million or so residents to look after elderly neighbors and keep cold compresses in the fridge.
The heat wave also continued south of the Canadian-American border. In the states of Oregon and Washington, hundreds have come to the emergency rooms with temperature-related complaints in the past few days. The Seattle Times reported that a sixty-five-year-old from Seattle and a sixty-eight-year-old from Enumclaw died of hyperthermia in temperatures above 42 degrees.
In Portland, Oregon, which set the previous day’s record of 46.6 degrees on Monday, the heat meanwhile melted power lines and cracked road surfaces. American meteorologists explained the dangerously high temperatures with a heat bell in which a high pressure area lay like a lid over the Pacific Northwest.