July 6 (UPI) — More than 30 people have died as a result of a heat wave in the Canadian province of Quebec, officials said Thursday.
The heat-related death toll increased to 34 as temperatures rose as high as 95 F and Environment Canada issued a smog and heat warning for the province, the CBC reported.
Montreal’s health department reported 18 deaths, seven were reported in the Eastern Townships, six were reported in the Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec region, Montérégie’s public health department reported two and one more was reported in Laval.
The heat wave began last Friday and the death toll has increased every daythis week.
Most of the victims were between 50 to 80 years old and Montreal public health official Mylene Drouin said most of those who died in Montreal were older than 65, had no air conditioning and had prior health issues.
Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois said none of the deaths in Quebec took place in public health institutions.
“We have to remain vigilant and continue to take precautions to avoid health problems,” said Charlebois.
Officials urged residents to keep themselves hydrated and remain in the shade, while Montreal opened pools and air conditioned spaces to the public.
“We’re doing everything we can,” Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said.
Plante also said first responders have been going door-to-door to check on about 15,000 vulnerable residents and encouraged people to check on their neighbors as well.
“‘Im counting on Montrealers to knock on doors, maybe of a neighbor, just to find out if the person is OK. It’s a team effort,” Plante said.
Environment Canada said the heat is supposed to give way on Friday with highs dropping to 75 F.