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Death rate soars as Canada's British Columbia suffers "...

Newsdeck

Newsdeck

Death rate soars as Canada’s British Columbia suffers “extreme heat”

The Vancouver House building stands under construction in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Monday, April 8, 2019. Government policies to tame the housing market -- from new taxes to stricter mortgage regulations -- have fueled a plunge in sales to the weakest since the global financial crisis. Prices are down 8.5 percent from their peak in June, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Photographer: Jennifer Gauthier/Bloomberg
By Reuters
30 Jun 2021 0

June 29 (Reuters) - The Canadian province of British Columbia suffered nearly double the average deaths as temperatures hit a record high of 46.6°C (115.88°F) during the past four days of "extreme heat", officials said on Tuesday.

At least 233 people died in the West coast province between Friday and Monday, about 100 more than the average for a four-day period, and the number was expected to rise as more reports were filed, officials said.

“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,” BC Coroners Service said on Monday.

Coroners are now gathering information to determine the cause and manner of deaths and whether heat played a role, the statement said.

Environmental heat exposure can lead to severe or fatal results, particularly in older people, infants and young children and those with chronic illnesses, Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said in a statement.

British Columbia closed schools and universities on Monday due as temperatures soared.

Lytton, a town in central British Columbia roughly 200km (124 miles) north of Vancouver, reported a temperature of 46.6°C (115.88°F) on Sunday.

Canada is widely known for its brutal winter and snows, and prior to the weekend the historical high in Canada was 45°C, set in Saskatchewan in 1937, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The heatwave in the Pacific Northwest, which is more accustomed to long bouts of rain than sun, resulted from a high pressure system that wasn’t moving, said Greg Flato, a senior research scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada based in Victoria.

(Reporting by Juby Babu and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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