Heat death toll climbs

Health officials have said the people who died didn't have air conditioning in their homes and had health issues

A heat wave in Quebec has killed 33 people in the past week as high summer temperatures scorched eastern Canada, officials said Thursday.

Numerous victims were older than 50, male, living alone and had no air conditioning, said Dr. David Kaiser of Montreal's Regional Public Health Department.

As of early morning, Montérégie's public health department reported two more deaths caused by the worst heat wave Quebec has seen in decades. And alarming numbers show a rising death toll in Canada related to the heat.

The sweltering weather began last Friday with temperatures hitting 35 degrees Celcius with high humidity.

Officials say none of the deaths occurred in a hospital and that the deceased were already suffering from existing health problems. "So now we're adding another blow to that, and the blow is recurrent over multiple days".

Charlebois, meanwhile, was asked about complaints from patients groups and health workers that some facilities are not equipped with air conditioning.

Kaiser said one reason Quebec has been reporting so many deaths is because it's part of the province's extreme heat plan, where health officials work in tandem with first responders and emergency rooms to track down potential cases of heat-related illnesses and deaths.

As previously reported "FACTS", in the province of Quebec because of the heat died 16 people.

None of the victims had air conditioning, and Kaiser said majority died inside of their homes.

Drouin said ambulance technicans have been very busy, with the Urgences-sante service receiving more than 1,200 calls in Montreal on Wednesday and having to make 695 trips.

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