While the heatwave is over, its effects are still being felt across the province.
The outcome of last week’s dangerous heat wave is coming into focus this week, the most measurable and destructive being the tragic fire in Lytton, but the unforgiving heat has had its effect all around BC, according to new data from BC’s Coroners Service.
Last week, it was reported that double the amount of deaths were recorded than what was typically seen during the week of June 25th to July 1st in previous years up to 2016.
Now, the BC Coroners Service has provided details on deaths specific to the health region.
According to the BC Coroners Service, at least 719 people died over a one-week period during BC’s scorching heat wave, three times more than would normally have been expected to die over the same period.
On Vancouver Island, 97 deaths occurred during the week of June 25th to July 1st.
The five-year average is 41.6 deaths over the same seven-day period.
While this data is usually not released until it has had time to settle, BC Coroner’s said, the preliminary statistics are being made available due to public interest.
“Coroners are carefully gathering all information available for each death reported, to determine the cause and manner of death, and whether excessive heat played a role,” said Lapointe.
“I extend my condolences to those who have lost a loved one during this unprecedented time.”
Lapointe warned that environmental heat exposure can lead to severe or fatal results, particularly in older people, infants, young children, and those with chronic illnesses.
Last week, Victoria hit a new record of 38.6 C from an old record of 27.8 set in 1951.
Lytton broke the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded in Canada, hitting a scorching 49.6 C on Tuesday, June 29th.