Scores dead as record-breaking heat wave grips Canada, US
Scores of deaths in Canada's Vancouver area are likely linked to a grueling heat wave, authorities said on June 29, as the country recorded its highest ever temperature amid scorching conditions that extended to the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
At least 134 people have died suddenly since Friday in the Vancouver area, according to figures released by the city police department and the Royal Canadian Mounted police.
The Vancouver Police Department alone said it had responded to more than 65 sudden deaths since Friday, with the vast majority "related to the heat."
The deaths came as Canada set a new all-time high temperature record for a third day in a row on June 29, reaching 121 degrees Fahrenheit (49.5 degrees Celsius) in Lytton, British Columbia, about 155 miles (250 kilometers) east of Vancouver, the country's weather service, Environment Canada, reported.
"Vancouver has never experienced heat like this, and sadly dozens of people are dying because of it," police sergeant Steve Addison said.
Other local municipalities have said they too have responded to many sudden death calls, but have yet to release tolls.
Climate change is causing record-setting temperatures to become more frequent. Globally, the decade to 2019 was the hottest recorded, and the five hottest years have all occurred within the last five years.
The scorching heat stretching from the U.S. state of Oregon to Canada's Arctic territories has been blamed on a high-pressure ridge trapping warm air in the region.
Temperatures in the U.S. Pacific Northwest cities of Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington reached levels not seen since record-keeping began in the 1940s: 115 degrees Fahrenheit in Portland and 108 in Seattle Monday, according to the...