Heat wave death toll rises in Quebec

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"From Ottawa Paramedic Services, since the start of the heat wave, there have been more than 100 calls for heat-related illnesses, with half of these on Canada Day", Casey says.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to express his condolences to the victims of a heat wave that has claimed 18 lives in Quebec as of Thursday morning.

In Montreal, authorities said Wednesday that the death toll had risen to 12, with five more suspected heat-related deaths in the Eastern Townships and one in Laval.

On Tuesday, the number of lives lost to the heat stood at six, a number that has since tripled, according to CIUSS data, as temperatures remained in the mid-30s through much of Wednesday.

Canadian Weather issued a heat warning for southern Quebec, which includes Montreal. Inland communities are hit harder than those along the coast. Mayor Valérie Plante urged people to check on vulnerable neighbours, including seniors.

For those in the hospital that have limited accessibility and extreme health issues, it's essentially impossible for them to leave their rooms in search of air conditioning. The city has extended its pool hours and opened its seven cooling centres, which provide air-conditioned spaces and cold drinks.

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It is expected to cool to about 24 degrees on Friday.

A 30-year-old man also collapsed running a race in Wilmington, New York, after his internal temperature reached an estimated 108 degrees Fahrenheit, reports CNN.

"We see clearly that we're at the beginning of increases, which will continue to go up over the coming days", Drouin said. A fifth fatality may also have been caused by the heat, they said.

"There are still two days left of particularly hot weather with particularly high humidex levels, " Genereux said.

Environment Canada says a heat warning remains in effect for an area spanning southwestern and northeastern Ontario through southern Quebec and into the Atlantic region, with above normal temperatures and humid conditions likely to stick around into Thursday.

It's been said before and it'll be said again: this heat wave is never ending.

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