33 dead in Quebec heat wave

33 dead in Quebec heat wave

While the stifling weather also blanketed Ontario and parts of Atlantic Canada, no deaths have been reported elsewhere, in part because various jurisdictions have different ways of gathering data on heat-related fatalities.

Most of the victims were between 50 to 80 years old and Montreal public health official Mylene Drouin said most of those who died in Montreal were older than 65, had no air conditioning and had prior health issues.

"The level of danger remains high, despite a decrease in humidity level",- said the representative of service of emergency Canada Stefan Oberhoff.

Public health authorities in Quebec have made a concerted effort to improve the reporting of heat-related deaths.

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

So far, 18 of the 33 deaths have been in Montreal, the most populous city in the province, with other deaths in surrounding regions. A high of 23 C is predicted for Friday and cooler temperatures will last through the weekend, into next week.

She added that they were living in "vulnerable conditions" and without access to air conditioning. "Obviously when we get there and the person may have passed, they're very rarely already with family.

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.

"Most of the deaths are a result of chronic illnesses, but due to the high temperatures, it is possible to conclude that the heat has contributed to the high number of deaths".

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

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