Heatwave caused six Interior B.C. deaths | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops News

Heatwave caused six Interior B.C. deaths

The B.C. Coroners Service reports six people died in the Interior region during the heatwave through the province last month.

The coroners service reported 16 heat-related deaths across the province from July 26 to Aug. 9, according to preliminary data it released Aug. 9.

Environment Canada issued several heat warnings throughout that week as daytime highs throughout the Thompson-Okanagan remained in the high-30s.

The death toll varied by day, but the single worst day was July 29 with five deaths.

READ MORE: Unseasonably warm temperatures continue all week in Kamloops, Okanagan

All people who died due to heat were older than 40. The most severe, however, was in the 70 to 78-year-old cohort, with six deaths.

The coroners service defines a heat-related death in two ways. One is by checking a body for hyperthermia at the time of death.

If the body cannot be checked for temperature at the time of death, the coroners service will study environmental and circumstantial factors, along with the person's medical history, to determine whether heat played a role in their death.

While the heat is blamed for killing 16 people across the province this summer, it's not nearly as severe as last year's death toll.

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In 2021, 57 people died in the Thompson-Okanagan between June 25 and July 1 when a severe heat dome settled over the province.

The record-breaking heat took 595 lives across the province and 64 in the Interior Health region alone.

Warm temperatures are expected to stay above 30 C through to the weekend in Kamloops and the Okanagan. At mid to high-30s, it's warmer than average, but it isn't expected to be hot enough for a heat warning from Environment Canada.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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