Hundreds Dead Amid 'Disastrous' Heat Wave in Canada

The country has seen its highest temperature ever, for 3 days in a row
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2021 10:50 AM CDT
Canada Sees Hottest Temperature Ever, 3 Days in a Row
People dip into the water at a beach in Chestermere, Alberta, on Tuesday, amid a heat wave.   (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)

Canada broke its 84-year-old temperature record by nearly 3 degrees Sunday, when a temperature of just under 115 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded in the village of Lytton, British Columbia. It was then beaten twice more in subsequent days. Lytton recorded a temperature of 117.5 degrees on Monday, followed by a new all-time-high temperature for the country of 121.3 degrees on Tuesday, report CNN and the BBC. It's a testament to the brutal heat wave now easing in western parts of Canada and the US, which has left "disastrous consequences for families and for communities," British Columbia Premier John Horgan tells the BBC. At least 233 deaths were reported in the province from Friday through Monday, which is about 100 more than usual for a four-day period, CNN reports.

Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe describes "a significant increase in deaths" tied to extreme heat. The CBC notes only a third of BC residents use air conditioning, according to a 2020 BC Hydro survey. Spikes in sudden deaths have been reported in Vancouver, which recorded a temperature of 101.5 degrees on Monday, and surrounding cities. Simi Heer, director of public affairs for the Vancouver Police Department, said police officers had already responded to 20 sudden-death calls on Tuesday by 1:45pm, "with more than a dozen others waiting for police to be dispatched." CNN notes many of the deceased are senior citizens, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The heat wave is also leaving the area under risk of floods and forest fires, per the CBC, which notes forests are drying out while mountaintops that never melt are thawing. (More Canada stories.)

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