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A historic heat wave that has obliterated 103 all-time heat records across Western Canada won’t be done anytime soon, as authorities warn that it is now moving eastward.
In Lytton, British Columbia, the weather reached 47.9 C (118.2 F) on Monday, the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada.
New temperature records were reported in every area of BC that same day, and some parts saw temperatures rocket to 10 degrees above previous records, including towns like Abbotsford (42.9 C) in the Fraser Valley, Dawson Creek (38.1 C) in the northeast, and Gibsons and Sechelt (40.1 C) on the Sunshine Coast.
The “heat dome” responsible for the extraordinary weather is now settling over BC’s Interior and parts of Alberta, where Environment Canada warns even more records will be broken on Tuesday.
A high of 39 C is expected in Jasper, Alberta shattering the previous all-time record of 35.1 C, which was set this weekend. Temperatures are expected to climb past 40 degrees throughout the, province including Grande Prairie. Edmonton and Calgary are also expected to reach highs of 36 C.
Burnaby RCMP issued a statement Tuesday morning saying that in the 24 hours since Monday, they had responded to over 25 sudden death calls, a great number of them seniors. Police said heat was believed to be a contributing factor in most of the deaths.
Meanwhile, in Surrey, RCMP responded to 20 sudden death calls on Monday. Thus far, they’ve responded to 18 death reports on Tuesday.
According to BC’s Emergency Health Services, the heat wave caused a critical rise in 911 calls requiring paramedics over the weekend, with ambulances responding to 187 calls related to heat exhaustion and 52 related to heatstroke.
To avoid wildfire accidents due to the high temperatures, the B.C. government has announced a campfire ban beginning this Wednesday.
In BC, municipalities and districts have opened cooling centres at public libraries and community centres for those who don’t have air conditioning.
Flood watches are also being issues across BC for the severe snowmelt that is happening on mountaintops due to the scorching hot temperatures.
Residents affected by the heat wave are being advised to follow guidelines of precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses, which can sometimes be lethal.