A boy cools off amid scorching heat wave conditions in parts of western North America (Image credit: NDTV)

Hundreds die as heat wave sweeps Canada, US, Russia

A large number of people have reportedly lost their lives in a record-breaking heat wave that has swept across parts of western Canada, USA and Siberia. On Tuesday (June 29), the temperature hit an all-time high of 49.5 degrees Celsius (121 degrees Fahrenheit) in Lytton, British Columbia, a village about 155 miles east of Vancouver in Canada.

Similarly, the temperature on June 23 touched 34.8 degrees Celsius in Siberia, the hottest June day since 1901. Even the capital city of Russia, Moscow, clocked its hottest June 22 in more than 120 years. Countries of East Europe are also in the grip of unprecedented heat wave. For instance, the countries of Bulgaria and Romania in south-eastern Europe have registered temperatures of up to 41 degrees Celsius. Even Estonia in the Baltics has registered similar heat conditions.

According to experts, the scorching heat stretching from the US state of Oregon in the south to Canada’s Arctic territories in the north is being blamed on a high-pressure ridge trapping warm air in the region.

On Monday, Portland in Oregon recorded 46.1 degrees Celsius (115 degrees Fahrenheit) and Seattle in Washington recorded 42.2 degrees Celsius (108 degree Fahrenheit).

Media reports suggest that 134 people (most of them elderly) died only in Vancouver area since June 25. The death toll in the entire region is likely to soar up as more and more people are falling ill. COVID-19 vaccination centres too have been closed down and people have been asked to stay indoors.

Environmental authorities have warned that the heat wave conditions in the different Canadian provinces is likely to persist through this week. They have warned the people of likely outbreak of fires in the entire north Pacific western coast.

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