Canada heat wave death toll hits 54

Mindy Sparks
July 8, 2018

The steamy conditions that have prevailed in Central and Eastern Canada for several days have contributed to 33 deaths in Quebec, health officials said Thursday.

Numerous victims were men over the age of 50 living alone in private apartments and seniors' residences, according to David Kaiser of Montreal's public health department.

Heat warnings are in effect across southern Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic region of the country, but temperatures are expected to drop overnight.

Environment Canada forecast a maximum of 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) on Thursday with a heat index (what the temperature feels like to the human body) of up to 45 Celsius.

In the cities there are also swimming pools and air-conditioned accommodation.

"It's not surprising", he said.

"If you know people with respiratory problems or people who are elderly, don't hesitate to visit them or give them a phone call to see if they need anything", she said at a committee meeting.

As well, most had health issues aggravated by the poor air quality that is a byproduct of the excessively high heat and humidity, said Regional Health Authority Dr. Mylene Drouin.

The death toll in a week-long eastern Canadian heat wave has reached 54, officials said today.

But Ontario does not track heat related deaths in the same way as Quebec and does not report on potential causes of death without a coroner's investigation.

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