Death toll from Canada heat wave rises to 33

Robert Gidney left wipes away sweat while working in Palisades Interstate Park in Ft. Lee N.J. Monday

Death toll from Canada heat wave rises to 33

On Friday, provincial officials said 54 people had died province-wide, but they could not immediately be reached for updated numbers on Saturday.

Due to a difference in reporting systems, Canadian officials do not know if other provinces suffered deaths in relation to the heat wave.

Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois said none of the deaths in Quebec took place in public health institutions.

Most of the victims linked to the "overwhelming heat" were in the Montreal area, which recorded 28 fatalities, metropolitan health authorities told AFP in an email.

The death toll climbed every day this week, with most of the victims between the ages of 50 to 85.

Environment Canada lifted heat warnings for the regions, including Quebec, for the next several days.

"None of the people we've identified in the last four days had air conditioning at home", Kaiser noted.

The province of Quebec was hit with highs of 86 F plus temperatures (30 C) beginning June 29 with accompanying humidex levels of between 104 F - 113 F (40 C -45 C).

"High concentrations of pollutants are expected to persist through tonight", the agency says, noting smog is especially hard on asthmatic children and people with respiratory ailments or heart disease.

No deaths had been reported for the same period in the neighbouring province of Ontario, which has also sizzled under extremely high temperatures.

Montreal-area paramedics weren't expecting a big drop-off in calls on Friday despite the more bearable conditions.

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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