July 31, 2021

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Nearly 50 degrees Celsius: Heat wave deaths in Canada

Status: 06/30/2021 8:45 p.m.

A heat wave is firmly under control in the west of Canada – with temperatures ranging from 49.5 degrees Celsius. According to police, the severe weather has now led to the first deaths. Most of them are elderly.

For the third day in a row since the start of the recordings, Canada recorded the hottest temperature in the country. The Lytton Meteorological Agency will measure 49.5 degrees Celsius, according to the Canadian Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. “We are in the middle of the hottest week in British Columbia ever seen,” said John Horgan, head of the country’s west coast province.

69 people died in Vancouver

According to police, the heat wave in the west of the country is now causing deaths. At least 69 people have died in Vancouver, including several elderly people with previous illnesses, according to the National Police Agency’s RCMP. “While this is still under investigation, heat has played a role in most deaths,” a police official said. There have been numerous deaths in other communities as well, but no official figures are yet available.

Police called on people to pay special attention to risk groups. “We need to take care of each other in this extreme heat,” Vancouver Area Police spokesman Mike Kalanch said. In the west coast metropolis of Vancouver, several refrigerated centers have been set up where people can take refuge from the heat.

Climate change is more likely to be a “heat dome”

The cities of Portland, Oregon and Seattle in the northwestern United States have also recorded higher temperatures since the 1940s. Air conditioning and fans were sold in many places. Some sought protection from the heat in underground garages or refrigerated cars.

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The phenomenon of “heat dome” is the cause of intense heat, i.e. high pressure in the atmosphere holding hot air in the region. According to meteorologists in the Washington Post, the intensity of this hotspot is “statistically very rare, which is expected to average only once every few thousand years”. However, man-made climate change has “exacerbated these types of extraordinary events”.