Sustainability Climate Change

A 195 percent increase in sudden deaths a day in British Columbia reported during extreme heat wave

Story at a glance

  • The Pacific Northwest has been battling the effects of a historic heat wave.
  • Over a period of five days in British Columbia, 486 sudden deaths were recorded during a time frame that would typically see about 165 sudden deaths.
  • Areas of the United States in the Pacific Northwest are also being impacted by the extreme heat.

The Pacific Northwest has been battling the effects of a historic heat wave that is now reportedly being linked to an increase in sudden deaths in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Over a period of five days during the heat wave, 486 sudden deaths were recorded during a time frame that would typically see about 165 sudden deaths — a 195 percent increase.

“While it is too early to say with certainty how many of these deaths are heat related, it is believed likely that the significant increase in deaths reported is attributable to the extreme weather,” British Columbia’s chief coroner Lisa LaPointe said, according to The Associated Press.


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


British Columbia isn’t the only area feeling the heat. On Monday, two people in Washington, a 65-year-old woman from Seattle and a 68-year-old woman from Enumclaw, died of hyperthermia. Hyperthermia occurs when the body’s temperature becomes dangerously high and overheats. Seattle’s temperature peaked at 108 degrees on Monday.

Ten percent of emergency room visits on Monday were a result of heat-related illness, the Seattle Times reported, according to data from local public health departments.

“It was quite a large volume,” Jeremy Hess, an attending physician at Harborview Medical Center, told the Seattle Times. “They were all very, very sick patients. The system as a whole was strained.”


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

RECORD-SMASHING HEAT WAVE IN PACIFIC NORTHWEST TURNS DEADLY

PORTLAND HITS 116 DEGREES AS ‘HEAT DOME’ SMASHES RECORDS IN PACIFIC NORTHWEST

PACIFIC NORTHWEST BRACES FOR ‘RECORD-BREAKING’ HEAT WAVE

RATTLESNAKES, BEARS ARE EVERYWHERE IN CALIFORNIA NOW BECAUSE OF EPIC DROUGHT

CLIMATE CRISIS IN WESTERN US WORST IN 1,200 YEARS