The historic Northwest heat wave may have claimed the lives of hundreds

The historic heat wave that scorched the Pacific Northwest and broke all-time records for temperature in normally temperate cities may have caused hundreds of deaths in Washington, Oregon, and Canada.

The historic Northwest heat wave may have claimed the lives of hundreds

Oregon officials confirmed Wednesday that more than 60 people died due to heatwave. Multnomah County, the largest in Oregon, blamed the weather for 45 deaths.

Lisa Lapointe (British Columbia's chief coroner) said that her office received reports about at least 486 "sudden, unexpected deaths" between Friday, and Wednesday, 1 p.m. Normally, she estimated that about 165 people would be killed in the province within a five-day span.

LaPointe stated in a statement that while it's too early to know how many deaths were caused by heat, it is likely that the dramatic increase in deaths is due to extreme weather.

Many homes in Vancouver, British Columbia don't have air conditioners, just like Seattle.

Vancouver police Sergeant. Steve Addison released a statement.

Washington authorities have linked heat to more than 20 deaths, but this number is likely to increase.

Meteorologists called the heat wave a dome of high pressure that surrounded the Northwest. This was made worse by human-caused climate changes, which are making extreme weather more common and more intense. Many cities including Portland, Seattle and Portland broke all-time heat records with temperatures reaching over 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 Celsius) in some cases.

While temperatures in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia had dropped significantly by Wednesday, the interior regions still experienced triple-digit temperatures as the weather systems moved east to the Intermountain West, and the Plains.

Environment Canada issued heat warnings Wednesday in Saskatchewan and southern Alberta. For parts of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, heat warnings were also in effect.

Environment Canada stated that Alberta will experience a "long, dangerous, and historical heat wave" for the remainder of this week.

High temperatures and humidity levels pose a high risk of heatstroke.

According to Oregon's Multnomah county medical examiner, 45 heat-related deaths were attributed to hyperthermia. This is an abnormally high body heat caused by the body not being able heat properly. They ranged from the ages of 44 to 97.

Portland is part of the county. It stated that there were 12 deaths from hyperthermia in Oregon between 2017 and 2019.

"This was an extreme health crisis that underscored how dangerous an extreme heat wave can prove to be, especially for people who are otherwise vulnerable," Dr. Jennifer Vines said, the county's chief health officer.

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