Heat wave kills 19 in Canada

Heat wave kills 19 in Canada

Heat wave kills 19 in Canada

Following warnings across several states of the potential for a Fourth of July heat wave, forecasters say relief is on its way as a change in weather pattern will sweep away the humid conditions, bringing temperatures back down to its seasonal average.

Thursday's forecast calls for a high of 35 degrees Celsius and a humidex of 45 C. There is a risk of thunderstorms Thursday night with clearing expected Friday morning and a forecast high of 23 C with a humidex of 25 C.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said firefighters and police visited 15,000 people to ensure they were coping with the heat.

Dr. Mylene Drouin, head of public health for the Montreal region, said the number of fatalities has risen since authorities first announced six deaths on Tuesday, but that the spike is not unexpected.

"We see clearly that we're at the beginning of increases, which will continue to go up over the coming days", Drouin said.

Meanwhile, the ambulance service that serves a large swath of the Montreal area is calling on people to refrain from calling unless it is a real emergency.

Fire crews are expected to knock on about 5,000 doors during the heat wave, and they will offer residents a cooler place to stay. The agency said it is struggling to meet the demand of people who require transportation to hospital.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Montreal's emergency services said they have received more than 1,200 heat-related calls a day, which represents 30% more than their busiest days.

Outside Quebec, sweltering heat was felt in four other provinces.

Montreal city hall unveiled an "extreme heat" plan on Tuesday that includes distributing water to groups working with the homeless.

A 30-year-old man also collapsed running a race in Wilmington, New York, after his internal temperature reached an estimated 108 degrees Fahrenheit, reports CNN. Inland communities are hit harder than those along the coast.

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Barrie, Collingwood, Hillsdale, Midland, Coldwater, Orr Lake, Orillia, Washago, Lagoon City, Innisfil, New Tecumseth and Angus.

The Atlantic heat wave is also expected to break by the weekend.

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