The Canadian province of British Columbia has seen a sharp increase in deaths related to the extreme heat that has been reported in the area over the past four days. According to officials, temperatures have hit a record high of 46.6C with at least 233 deaths being reported between Friday and Monday.
With the numbers expected to rise, British Columbia Coroners stated, “Since the onset of the heat wave late last week, the BC Coroners Service has experienced a significant increase in deaths reported where it is suspected that extreme heat has been contributory,”.
The coroners will be gathering information on the deaths in order to determine if the extreme heat had a role to play.
Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe stated that environmental heat exposure can cause severe and fatal results, particularly in older people, infants, young children and those with chronic illnesses.
Prior to the weekend, Canada recorded its historical high of 45C in Saskatchewan in 1937, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.
An environmental scientist from Environment and Climate Change Canada ‘Greg Flato’ stated that the heatwave has resulted from high pressure which is not moving.
In the US Pacific Northwest, three days of record-breaking heat has finally eased as temperatures have dropped dramatically in the area.
However, excessive heat warnings have remained in place in the east of the Cascade Range in Oregon and Washington, with more heat being forecasted for Idaho and Montana.
It was reported by the Seattle Times that at least two people died from heat exposure on Monday in King County where their cause of death was revealed as being hypothermia, as their bodies became dangerously overheated.
The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington reported the deaths of three men aged 51, 75 and 77 after experiencing heatstroke.
A farmworker also died over the weekend in St Paul, Oregon according to its Occupational Health and Safety division. Further details have not been given about the man’s death or identity.