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Extreme Heat Killed More British Columbians Last Summer Than Previously Thought, Highlighting Urgent Need For Climate Action

New data showed the heatwave killed 595 British Columbians between June 18 and Aug. 12, up from previous reports of 569 deaths between June 20 and July 29.

Extreme Heat Killed More British Columbians Last Summer Than Previously Thought, Highlighting Urgent Need For Climate Action
Photo Credit: Ross/Flickr.

From The Tyee: As world leaders discuss combatting climate change at the COP26 summit in the U.K., new data from the B.C. Coroners Service shows that last summer’s extreme heat — which experts say will become more common with global warming — killed even more people than first estimated.

  • As reported by The Tyee Monday, new data showed the heatwave killed 595 British Columbians between June 18 and Aug. 12, up from previous reports of 569 deaths between June 20 and July 29.

During the “heat dome,” The Tyee noted, the village of Lytton broke Canadian records with a temperature of 49.6 degrees celsius on June 29, before a wildfire burned down the village the following day.

  • By city, Vancouver had the highest number of deaths between June 25 and July 1 with 99 fatalities.

The Tyee noted that while it is not clear why so many people died during the extreme weather when compared with nearby jurisdictions in the U.S., the heat dome overwhelmed the province's emergency responder system.

  • The coroner’s service said it will investigate each death, a task it expects to complete by early 2022. The service will also establish a panel of experts that will make recommendations to governments and health authorities to prevent heat-related deaths in the future.

Read The Tyee’s full story here.

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