Deaths linked to a heat wave in Canada's Quebec province has almost doubled to 33 from the last count, health officials said on Thursday, as extreme weather conditions that have gripped central and eastern Canada reached their peak. And alarming numbers show a rising death toll in Canada related to the heat.
Environment Canada expected temperatures to cool on Friday with much less extreme highs of 23C to 25C over the weekend.
The mercury has since June 29 regularly topped 30 C, accompanied by stifling humidity levels, but temperatures should drop back to seasonal averages from Saturday. "So now we're adding another blow to that, and the blow is recurrent over multiple days".
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The city has opened pools and air conditioned spaces to the public.
Twenty-eight of the deaths were in Montreal, said Marie-Claude Lacasse with the Ministry of Health.
Stefan Overhoff, chief operating officer at Urgences-sante ambulance service, said people who've endured the heat for several days could still be susceptible to health problems.
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"What we know is, first they have heat stroke".
"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". He encouraged them to check on their neighbours, especially those who are vulnerable and often isolated.
"The higher temperatures and humid Sunday and Monday will mostly affect southern Quebec", said Serge Mainville of Environment Canada, according to CNN news partner CBC.
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In 2010, a heat wave killed around 100 people in the Montreal area.