50 deaths in Quebec attributed to heat as hot, humid weather subsides

Quebec says up to 70 people may have died in connection with recent heat wave

A heatwave in Quebec has killed at least 19 people in the past week as high summer temperatures scorched eastern Canada, health officials said Wednesday.

Numerous victims were men over the age of 50 living alone in private apartments and seniors' residences, according to Dr. David Kaiser with Montreal's public health department.

While hot weather is expected to remain in Quebec next week, Serge Mainville of Environment Canada said it will be a dry heat. Numerous victims suffered from chronic health issues or mental illnesses and lived in areas known as 'heat island, ' - regions prone to higher temperatures due to a lack of vegetation.

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This, too, played a factor in the current heat wave, which began June 29.

Eighteen of the deaths occurred in Montreal, where the temperature Thursday was expected to climb to 113 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity.

Heat warnings were also issued for much of Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

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So far, 18 of the 33 deaths have been in Montreal, the most populous city in the province, with other deaths in surrounding regions.

According to doctors, all the dead from overheating had comorbidities and were in a room without air conditioning.

In 2010, around 100 people in the Montreal area died when extreme heat stifled the area.

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Large parts of Ontario have experienced similarly sweltering conditions this week, though unlike Quebec no deaths have been reported there.

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