B.C. weather: 16 deaths during recent heat wave

11 September 2022 Posted by: Lake Lawn B&B Great Yarmouth News

There were 16 suspected heat-related deaths recorded in British Columbia during the sweltering temperatures that began in late July and continued into early August, coroners revealed Tuesday.

The B.C. Coroner Service said the deaths were recorded between July 26 and Aug. 3, and more than half involved people who were 70 years old or older. The youngest people suspected of succumbing to the heat were two people in their 40s.

Eight of the 16 deaths were in the Fraser Health region, and six were in the Interior Health region. Vancouver Coastal Health and Island Health each recorded one death, and there were none in Northern Health. 

Officials noted the data are considered preliminary, and “subject to change as coroners’ investigations conclude.”

Heat-related deaths are defined as those in which the deceased’s body temperature indicates hyperthermia, or there is evidence to support that heat was a factor. That evidence can be circumstantial, related to the scene where the body was found, or come from the deceased’s medical history, according to the coroner.

There were dozens of daily temperature records broken in communities across B.C. during the recent heat wave, including some that had been in place for decades. Some areas saw temperatures as high as 40 C.

Health officials warn those conditions are particularly dangerous for vulnerable residents, including seniors, people with chronic illnesses, and the homeless.

The temperatures didn’t reach the highs recorded during last year’s devastating heat dome, which saw the Village of Lytton break the country’s all-time temperature record before being all but wiped out by a wildfire.

A death panel review released by the B.C. Coroners Service in June determined a staggering 619 lives were lost to extreme heat last year in the province, and that nearly all the deaths occurred indoors.

Approximately two-thirds of the victims were age 70 or older, and more than half lived alone. 

Source : https://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-recorded-16-suspected-heat-deaths-during-recent-heat-wave-coroner-says-1.6020607