Many dead as millions of people under heat alerts in Canada and US - GulfToday

Many dead as millions wilt under scorching heat in Canada and US

A family cools off at Alki Beach as an excessive heat warning remains in effect a day after record-breaking temperatures hit the region in Seattle, Washington, on Tuesday. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Millions of people in Canada and the northwestern United States were under heat alerts on Wednesday as the region baked in record-breaking temperatures.
Police reported scores of deaths probably linked to the scorching conditions in the US and Canada.

The high temperatures forced authorities to close coronavirus vaccination centres and schools in both the countries. The authorities also opened many cooling centres. People have been advised to stay in cool places as much as possible and drink plenty of water even if they do not feel thirsty.
Heatwave1-US-750x450A woman holds a young child under a waterfall at a park in Washington. AP

Over 230 people died between Friday and Monday and the number of heatwave casualties was expected to rise as more, officials said.
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According to a media report, in the city of Seattle, heatstroke victims flooded the clinics, and at least two patients died of hyperthermia as their bodies overheated.
Heatwave-baby-750x450A man and his daughter reach out for falling water as they play at the Splash Pad in Haller Park. AP

Soaring temperatures in California's valley, mountain and desert areas raised fears of wildfires amid windy dry conditions.

The US National Weather Service warned of "a possibility of dry lightning strikes ... creating the potential for lightning-sparked fires."

On Tuesday, 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."
Horses-Heatwave-750x450A girl in Vernon jumps off the back of her horse to cool herself. AP

Canada set a new all-time high temperature record for a third day in a row Tuesday, reaching 49.5˚C in Lytton, British Columbia, about 250 kilometres east of Vancouver, the country's weather service, Environment Canada, reported.

Some Vancouver locals said they had never experienced such temperatures before. "It's never this bad. I've never seen anything like this," said a resident who only gave her name as Rosa. "I hope it never becomes like this ever again. This is too much."
Splash-Heatwave-750x450A young boy holds his head under a waterfall at a park in Washington. AFP

Others lamented that some residents were more vulnerable to the heat than others. "I feel for those people whether they're the elderly demographic or people who live on the downtown eastside of Vancouver who don't have a cool spot to live or sleep," said river swimmer Graham Griedger.

The chief coroner for British Columbia, which includes Vancouver, said the province had "experienced a significant increase in deaths reported where it is suspected that extreme heat has been contributory."
Heatwave-Canada-750x450A man cools off in a fountain at Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland. AFP

The service said in a statement it recorded 233 deaths between Friday and Monday, compared with 130 on average.

"We are in the midst of the hottest week British Columbians have ever experienced, and there are consequences to that, disastrous consequences for families and for communities," British Columbia Premier John Horgan told a news conference.

He urged "checking up on those people we know might be at risk, making sure we have cold compresses in the fridge or we're staying in the coolest part of our homes, and making sure that we're taking steps to get through this heat wave."

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