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At least 63 people in Oregon have died as a result of health issues caused by the unprecedented heat wave that swept through the West Coast of the United States over the last few days, The Oregonian reports.
Oregon State Police spokesperson Capt. Tim Fox said the death toll was calculated using reports from the medical examiner’s office of six counties, but warned the total could be even higher as more information becomes available. Portland beat its new record high temperature on three consecutive days with a temp of 116 degrees at Portland International Airport Monday late afternoon setting the new high mark.
NBC News reports that places like Dallas, New Orleans, and downtown Los Angeles, have never had a higher temperature than Portland’s record-setting day.
According to NPR, state health officials reported that nearly 500 people visited the emergency room or an urgent care clinic due to heat-related illness since Friday. Multnomah County spokesperson Julie Sullivan-Springhetti said a record 491 calls for emergency medical assistance were made on Monday alone.
Oregon isn’t the only state feeling the heat. Cory Portner, spokesperson for Washington state’s department of health, told BuzzFeed News that almost 700 people visited emergency rooms between Friday and Sunday because of the excessive heat. CNN reports at least 233 people in Canada have died from the unbearably high temperatures.
“Since the onset of the heat wave late last week, the BC Coroners Service has experienced a significant increase in deaths reported where it is suspected that extreme heat has been contributory,” Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said in a statement.