Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

50 deaths in Quebec attributed to heat as hot, humid weather subsides

50 deaths in Quebec attributed to heat as hot, humid weather subsides

A heatwave in Quebec has killed at least 19 people in the past week as high summer temperatures scorched eastern Canada, health officials said Wednesday.

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.

Eighteen of those deaths were in Montreal, where Thursday's temperature was expected to climb to 113 degrees with humidity.

Parent said the heat wave was the worst he'd seen in his 18 years as a meteorologist.

Environment Canada has lifted heat warnings for the affected regions, including Quebec, for the next several days.

Twelve of the dead were reported in the eastern province's capital Montreal, said regional public health director Mylene Drouin.

The province of Quebec was hit with highs of 86 F plus temperatures (30 C) beginning June 29 with accompanying humidex levels of between 104 F - 113 F (40 C -45 C).

While the stifling weather has blanketed other parts of the country, no deaths have been reported elsewhere, but that may be because various jurisdictions have different ways of gathering data on heat-related fatalities.

The ambulance service that serves a large swath of the Montreal area has called on people to refrain from calling unless it is a real emergency.

She added that they were living in "vulnerable conditions" and without access to air conditioning.

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