At least 34 people died suddenly in the Vancouver region, police said, amid an unprecedented heat wave that hit western Canada and parts of the northwest United States.
“Although it is still under investigation, heat is believed to be a contributing factor to most of the deaths,” Michael Callang of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement, adding that the majority of the dead were elderly.
An unprecedented heat wave set record temperatures in cities like Seattle and Portland, Oregon, moving inland on Tuesday. Electric Company in Spokane, Washington has warned of more deliberate blackouts amid strong demand of energy for air conditioning systems.
These temperatures are unusual in a region that is famous for its rain and where the average temperature in June does not reach 25 degrees.
The heat forced schools and businesses to close on Monday, including places like outdoor pools and ice cream parlors where people usually shelter from the heat. Vaccination sites for covid-19 have not been opened either.