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

Death Toll Rising In Canada Heat Wave

Death Toll Rising In Canada Heat Wave

A record-breaking heat wave is smothering parts of central and eastern Canada.

Due to a difference in reporting systems, Canadian officials do not know if other provinces suffered deaths in relation to the heat wave.

Kaiser said the social aspect - living alone and not having another place to go to cool down - typically plays a major role in heat-related deaths in the city.

"A lot of them have a chronic disease condition", said Dr. Mylene Drouin, head of the regional health authority.

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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Over the past week, temperatures as high as 35 C were reported in Quebec and Ontario, and the temperature is set to rise again in Montreal by the end of the weekend, with the humidex expected to reach up to 36 on Sunday and Monday. "Obviously when we get there and the person may have passed, they're very rarely already with family".

To help residents, the city introduced a plan of emergency response, which includes the extension of the public swimming pools, free distribution of water and bypass the firefighters vulnerable categories of citizens.

"Usually these kinds of heat waves last for three, four, five days, but this one lasted for seven days, and that doesn't happen quite often", said Alexandre Parent, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

"We have to remain vigilant and continue to take precautions to avoid health problems", said Charlebois.

In 2010, around 100 people in the Montreal area died when extreme heat stifled the area.

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