Extreme heat played a factor in an unprecedented amount of B.C. deaths this week, says chief coroner Lisa Lapointe.(Black Press Media files)

Extreme heat played a factor in an unprecedented amount of B.C. deaths this week, says chief coroner Lisa Lapointe.(Black Press Media files)

B.C. deaths triple over the past week, to 719, as a result of heat wave

Many of the deaths were among older individuals living alone in private residences

Extreme heat played a factor in an unprecedented amount of B.C. deaths this week, says chief coroner Lisa Lapointe.

From June 25 through July 1, BC Coroners Service recorded 719 deaths – three times the average amount reported in a typical week.

It’s likely the recent heat wave was “a significant contributing factor” to the rise in deaths, said Lapointe. The province saw temperatures rise into the 40s.

Many of the deaths were among older individuals living alone with minimal ventilation, Lapointe said.

“Please look out for family, friends and neighbours, particularly those who live alone.”

Starting Friday, BC Coroners Service reported seeing a downward trend form from the number of deaths reported in the past few days.

“We are hopeful this trend will continue,” said Lapointe, noting that some parts of the province continue to experience unusually high temperatures.

The death toll is expected to increase as more fatalities are reported to BC Coroners Service.



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

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Heat wave