A record-breaking heatwave is being blamed for at least 33 deaths in Quebec as authorities brace for more fatalities before temperatures return to more seasonal values on Friday. (Christine Bureau/Radio-Canada)

Quebec heatwave death toll rises to 33

Share

At least 33 people have died as a result of the heatwave that has blanketed much of southern Quebec and other parts of central and eastern Canada, regional health authorities said in an update on Thursday.

And provincial authorities are bracing for more as Environment Canada issued a heat and smog warning for parts of southern Quebec on Thursday.

Temperatures in Montreal and the surrounding areas are expected to climb to 35 C – nearly 10 degrees higher than the average high for the season. Humidity will make it feel like temperatures between 40 C and 45 C, Environment Canada said.

Dr. Mylene Drouin, head of the regional health authority, told reporters at a press conference the majority of victims were between the ages 50 and 80.

“For the last three days we have been in a full response mode in the Montreal region,” she said, adding that regional health authorities have set up 19 air-conditioned shelters for residents needing a reprieve from the oppressive heat.

None of the deaths took place in public health institutions, according to Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois.

“We have to remain vigilant and continue to take precautions to avoid health problems,” Charlebois said Thursday at a news conference.

Checking on the most vulnerable

Quebec health officials warn that people with existing health conditions, mental health and substance abuse issues are most at risk during the heatwave. (Yannick Donahue/CBC)

Montreal’s civil protection agency has launched a door-to-door campaign to check on people deemed most vulnerable to the heat – those in low-income neighbourhoods with no air conditioning in their residences, people with chronic illnesses or suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues.

Specially trained teams, including mental health professionals, firefighters and police officers, are checking on vulnerable residents, Drouin said.

They have visited over 34,000 vulnerable residents to check on them during the week-long heatwave, she added.

Since the heatwave began Saturday, the provincial ambulance service said it has received, on average, 1,200 calls per day from distressed citizens, stretching paramedics’ ability to respond to other emergencies.

Taking precautions

A boy and girl dunk their heads in a water fountain in Montreal on July 2, 2018. The scorching heat wave has set records in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Provincial health authorities recommend taking the following measures to prevent heat-related health problems:

  • Drink six to eight glasses of water per day;
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages;
  • Spend at least two hours a day in an air conditioned or cool place;
  • Take at least one shower or cool bath per day, or cool your skin several times per day with wet towels;
  • Limit physical activities;
  • Wear light clothes;
  • Never leave a child or a baby alone in a vehicle or a poorly ventilated room, even for a few minutes;

The heat is expected to break Thursday night, with temperatures dropping to about 23 degrees Celsius on Friday morning.

Share
Categories: Uncategorized
Tags:

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*

One comment on “Quebec heatwave death toll rises to 33
  1. Avatar Sameer says:

    This is a really sad to hear.