Heat wave linked to deaths in Canada

·2-min read

A sweltering heat wave that has settled over western Canada for several days is believed to be a contributing factor in dozens of sudden-death calls received by police in the Vancouver area, authorities say.

Corporal Mike Kalanj of Burnaby Royal Canadian Mounted Police says the detachment responded to 25 sudden-death calls in a 24-hour period starting on Monday.

The deaths were still under investigation and many of the dead were seniors, he said.

Temperatures in the Vancouver area reached just under 32C on Monday but the humidity made it feel close to 40C in areas that were not near water, Environment Canada said.

The record-breaking heat wave could ease over parts of British Columbia, Yukon and the Northwest Territories by Wednesday, but any reprieve for the Prairie provinces is further off.

"Vancouver has never experienced heat like this, and sadly dozens of people are dying because of it," Sergeant Steve Addison said in a news release.

"Our officers are stretched thin, but we're still doing everything we can to keep people safe."

As of mid-afternoon on Tuesday, he said, police had responded to more than 65 sudden deaths since the heat wave began on Friday.

"The vast majority of these cases are related to the heat," Addison said, adding that on a typical day, Vancouver police responded to between three and four sudden-death calls.

Environment Canada said the weather system shattered 103 heat records across British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon and Northwest Territories on Monday.

Those records include a new Canadian high temperature of 47.9C set in Lytton, British Columbia, smashing the previous record of 46.6C set in the same village a day earlier.

That temperature broke the record high in Canada of 45C in Midale, Saskatchewan, in 1937.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting