At least 69 people in Canada’s Vancouver area have died in a record-smashing heat wave engulfing the west of the country and the Pacific Northwest of the United States, police said.
Most of the dead in the Vancouver suburbs over the past 24 hours were elderly or people with underlying health conditions, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shared. Other municipalities have said they too have responded to many sudden death calls since last week, but have yet to release tolls.
Climate change is causing record-setting temperatures to become more frequent. Globally, the decade to 2019 was the hottest recorded, and the five hottest years have all occurred within the last five years.
The scorching heat stretching from the U.S. state of Oregon to Canada’s Arctic territories has been blamed on a high-pressure ridge trapping warm air in the region.
On June 28, Canada set a new all-time high temperature record of 47.9 degrees Celsius.