© Reuters. Smoke and flames are seen during the Sparks Lake wildfire at Thompson-Nicola Regional District, British Columbia, Canada, June 29, 2021, in this image obtained via social media. BC WILDFIRE SERVICE via REUTERS
VANCOUVER/PORTLAND (Reuters) -A heat wave that has scorched much of western Canada and the U.S. Northwest has killed at least 45 people in Oregon’s Multnomah County and is seen as the cause behind an unusual surge of deaths in British Columbia, officials said on Wednesday.
The heat dome, a weather phenomenon trapping heat and blocking other weather systems from moving in, smashed record high temperatures in the U.S. Northwest and western Canada in recent days.
In Multnomah County, which includes Portland, 45 deaths since Friday have been related to the excessive heat, the county Medical Examiner said in a statement, citing hyperthermia as the preliminary cause.
Oregon had only 12 deaths from hyperthermia from 2017 to 2019, the statement said.
In British Columbia, there were 486 sudden and unexpected deaths between Friday and Tuesday, about 320 more than the average for a five-day period, the BC Coroners Service said.
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