World Bulletin / News Desk
The province of Quebec was hit with highs of 86 F plus temperatures (30 C) beginning June 29 with accompanying humidex levels of between 104 F – 113 F (40 C -45 C).
The most affected areas are in the Montreal region and firefighters and police there have knocked on 15,000 doors in the past week to check on the welfare of residents.
The victims who succumbed to the heat were between the ages of 50 and 80 and did not have air conditioning in their residences and lived alone in apartments, officials said.
As well, most had health issues aggravated by the poor air quality that is a byproduct of the excessively high heat and humidity, said Regional Health Authority Dr. Mylene Drouin.
“For the moment, they (deaths) conform exactly to the characteristics we’ve described – people with chronic illness, mental health problems, people living alone, people living in apartment blocks between four-to-six stories and without air conditioning.”
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said along with police and firefighters, residents need to check on vulnerable neighbors.
“If you know people with respiratory problems or people who are elderly, don’t hesitate to visit them or give them a phone call to see if they need anything,” she said at a committee meeting.
Environment Canada issued a smog warning as “high concentrations of pollutants are expected to persist through the night.”
The forecast calls for the heat to dissipate somewhat by Friday with temperatures at 77 F (25 C), normal for this time of year.