In the western United States and Canada, hundreds of people have already died suddenly. The deaths may be linked to the heatwave that is plaguing the region. Since Friday, 486 people have suddenly died in the Canadian state of British Columbia, reports a medical examiner. And in Multnomah County, Oregon, 45 people have died since Friday.
Local authorities in Oregon speak of an unusual increase in the number of deaths in the region. The people probably died from the effects of overheating. In British Columbia, the number of deaths is 195 per cent higher than usual and the authorities assume that the sharp increase is due to the extreme heat.
In the American and Canadian States along the West Coast it has been extremely hot in recent days. In Portland, Oregon’s largest city, mercury rose to 46.1 degrees on Monday. The town of Lytton, about 200 kilometers north of Vancouver, Canada, took the crown by 49.5 degrees on Tuesday. That’s the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada.
Centres are being set up in the affected regions where people can hide from the heat in the air conditioning. The authorities are asking everyone to take precautions and to pay special attention to vulnerable people.
Thanks to a sea breeze from the Pacific, it gets a little cooler. Temperatures of around 32 degrees are expected for the rest of the week, still warm for the time of year, but not so extremely hot anymore.
Experts argue that the heat waves are not directly attributable to climate change. However, it is obvious that rising global temperatures will lead to an increase in unusual weather patterns in the coming period.