Deadly heatwave kills 33 people in Canada

Canada heat wave death toll hits 54: officials | Khyber News

OTTAWA: An intense heatwave has killed 33 people in the Canadian province of Quebec, according to local health officials.
Some 18 of those deaths were in Montreal, where temperatures have climbed to 37C (98.6F) – way beyond the usual figure of 25C at this time year – and where high humidity has at times made it feel more like 47C.
Officials have warned people to stay in the shade as much as possible and to drink plenty of water where as pools and air-conditioned spaces have been opened to the public as an emergency measure.
Justin Trudeau expressed his sympathies on Twitter.
“My thoughts are with the loved ones of those who have died in Quebec during this heat wave,” he wrote.
Europe, North America and the Middle East have all been gripped by hot weather.
In Canada, the high of 37 in Montreal represented a new record in a stretch that has broken records dating back to 1963 across the country.
Many of the victims were men over the age of 50 living alone in private apartments and seniors’ residences, according to David Kaiser of Montreal’s public health department. “It’s not surprising,” he said. “Heat risk in an urban setting is a combination of medical, social and environmental exposures.
“The elderly, people with chronic diseases and people with mental health problems are more at risk.”
The mercury began rising last Friday, and heat warnings have been in effect across southern Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic region of the country ever since.
No deaths have been reported in other provinces. Officials in Quebec said they believed a new extreme heat plan, under which emergency services work to track down possible heat-related deaths and go door to door to find people at risk, may have identified problems missed elsewhere.
“Montreal is gigantic heat island,” added Dr Kaiser, describing how the city’s lack of vegetation and predominance of concrete added to the impact of rising temperatures. There also micro heat islands throughout the city, particularly in some of the poorer areas, he added.
Melissa Genereux, head of public health in the Eastern Townships area of Quebec, urged people to remain vigilant.
“There are still two days left of particularly hot weather with particularly high humidex levels,” she told a news conference, according to The Canadian Press.
“We’re inviting the population to be vigilant for the next two days – for themselves as well as those close to them.” – Agencies


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