Over 130 people have died as Canada suffers heatwave reaching nearly 50°C

Hot damn.

Lean Jinghui | June 30, 2021, 06:05 PM

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Tuesday, June 29, saw Canada experiencing a new record-high of 49.6 degrees Celsius in Lytton, British Columbia.

This follows days of scorching heat that have engulfed the Pacific North-West region, from Oregon in the U.S. to Canada’s Arctic territories, since Sunday, according to the BBC.

More than 100 casualties

AFP reported that at least 134 people have died since last Friday in the Vancouver area, according to numbers released by the city police department and the Royal Canadian Mounted police.

The Vancouver Police Department also said a vast majority of sudden deaths it has responded to since Friday were “related to the heat”.

Schools and Covid-19 vaccination centers have been closed since June 28 while emergency cooling centres opened across Canada, according to AFP.

Temporary misting stations and water coolers were also set up in Vancouver.

Beaches and pools are packed, while emergency services, overwhelmed with calls, warned of delays for ambulances.

"Warmer than Dubai"

BBC reported that the all-time high temperatures broke an 84-year-old record in British Columbia.

For context, average summer high temperatures range from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius in Canada; the country is typically more well-known for its harsh winters, which can drop to -40 degrees Celsius.

According to AFP, Environment Canada's senior climatologist David Phillips told broadcaster CTV that the high temperatures were "pulverising" records.

"It's warmer in parts of western Canada than in Dubai."

The historic heat wave is reportedly part of a "heat dome" – a high-pressure ridge trapping warm air in the region, kind of like a lid on a cooking pot.

This is also affecting the American region of the Pacific Northwest, with cities like Portland, Oregon seeing power cables melting due to the extreme heat.

Top image via Getty Images