According to authorities, the record heat is believed to have contributed to at least 233 sudden deaths in British Columbia.
Authorities say more than 200 people have died in Canada’s westernmost province since Friday, as record temperatures raise serious concerns for vulnerable groups, including the elderly.
The chief coroner of British Columbia, Lisa Lapointe dit on Tuesday the British Columbia (BC) Forest Service received at least 233 reports of deaths between Friday and Monday afternoon, a total it said is expected to increase as more information becomes available.
Lapointe said the forensic service typically receives 130 death complaints over a four-day period.
“Since the onset of the heat wave late last week, the BC Foresters Service has experienced a significant increase in reported deaths, where extreme heat is suspected to have been contributing,” Lapointe said. , and added that the exact cause of the deaths was being investigated. .
Temperatures have risen in BC and other Canadian provinces and territories, as the so-called “heat dome” – a weather system that traps hot air – has fallen on the west coast of the country, as well as in the northwest. of the Pacific of the United States.
“It’s like a lid or a lid, and nothing can come in, time can’t come in to remove that heat, it’s just getting there,” Environment Canada meteorologist Dave Phillips told Your Morning news program of CTV.
Experts have also claimed that climate change contributed to the record-breaking heat. Lytton, a downtown BC city, broke Canadian high temperature records three times this week and reached 49.6 ° C (121.28 ° F) on Tuesday.
Metro Vancouver Police too dit on Tuesday evening that officers had responded to more than 65 sudden deaths since the heat wave began on Friday, while police in Burnaby and Surrey, Vancouver area cities, also reported dozens of sudden deaths.
“Vancouver has never experienced a heat like this and unfortunately dozens of people are dying because of it,” Sergeant Steve Addison said in a statement.
“The vast majority of these cases are heat-related,” Addison said. “We have never seen anything like it and it breaks our hearts. If you have an elderly or vulnerable family member, please call or drop by to check them. “
A heat warning is still in effect in the Greater Vancouver area, but in Environment Canada he says on its website that the heat will “become less intense” starting Wednesday, although temperatures are likely to remain warm for the rest of the week.
Environment Canada urged people to stay hydrated and stay indoors and to check on family members and older neighbors.
Extreme heat is expected to spread to other parts of the country on Thursday, meteorologist Doug Gillham said, which could record high-temperature records in several cities, including Kelowna, BC; Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta; in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
“The hot weather will extend to the Northwest Territories and Nunavut,” Gillham said in a publish on The Weather Network website.