Canada and northwest United States have, over the past week, reported a crippling heatwave that has led to hundreds of deaths, as per international media reports.
Further, as per The Associated Press:
Lisa Lapointe, Chief coroner of Canada’s British Columbia, said her office received reports of at least 486 “sudden and unexpected deaths” over a five-day-period ending Friday, 2 July. Normally, the region reports a mere 165 deaths during a five-day period.
Health officials at Oregon, United States (US), have reportedly shared that more than 60 deaths have been linked with the heat.
At least 20 deaths in the US state of Washington have been linked to the heat, and the number is reportedly expected to rise.
Meanwhile, Seattle, Portland, and a number of American cities broke all-time heat records, with temperatures in some places recording above 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius).
Wildfires in Canada
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also called an emergency meeting on Friday, 2 July, after the heatwave in British Columbia caused a spate of horrific wildfires. The British Columbia Wildfire Service has listed 99 active fires and 78 have been reported just within the last two days
Trudeau has also been quoted in international media outlets, as saying:
“The temperatures recorded this week are unprecedented — lives have been lost and the risk of wildfires is at a dangerously high level.”
What's Causing the Heatwave?
The heatwave has been caused by a dome of high pressure over the Northwest and worsened by human-induced climate change, reported AP, citing meteorologists. Climate change intensifies extreme weather events, and also makes the possibility of their occurrence more likely.
(With inputs from The Associated Press.)
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