Death toll rises to 34 in Canadian heat wave

Frederick Owens
July 9, 2018

Environment Canada lifted heat warnings Friday, despite expectations that temperatures will once again rise early next week.

This is the worst heat wave residents of Quebec have seen in decades.

Montreal was the area of the province with the highest number of victims, the government said, with 28 people dying from heat-related complications.

The majority of the victims there were men aged 53-85 living in vulnerable conditions without access to air conditioning, she added.

No deaths have been reported in other provinces.

While the stifling weather also hung over Ontario and parts of Atlantic Canada, no deaths had been reported elsewhere, in part because various jurisdictions have different ways of gathering data on heat-related fatalities.

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The sweltering weather began last Friday with temperatures hitting 35 degrees Celcius with high humidity. "Obviously when we get there and the person may have passed, they're very rarely already with family".

Health officials have said the people who died didn't have air conditioning in their homes and had health issues.

The heat wave is expected to end by Thursday evening with temperatures between 23 and 25 degrees Celsius over the next few days.

People with chronic illness are particularly at risk, said Nicola Dulisse, head of Urgences-sante. Numerous victims suffered from chronic health issues or mental illnesses and lived in areas known as 'heat island, ' - regions prone to higher temperatures due to a lack of vegetation.

In 2010, around 100 people in the Montreal area died when extreme heat stifled the area.

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