Canada weather: Dozens dead as heatwave shatters records

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Dozens of people have died in Canada amid an unprecedented heatwave that has smashed temperature records.

Police in the Vancouver area have responded to more than 130 sudden deaths since Friday. Most were elderly or had underlying health conditions, with heat often a contributing factor.

Canada broke its temperature record for a third straight day on Tuesday – 49.5C (121F) in Lytton, British Columbia.

The US north-west has also seen record highs – and a number of fatalities.

Experts say climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves. However, linking any single event to global warming is complicated.

The heat over western parts of Canada and the US has been caused by a dome of static high-pressure hot air. Temperatures have been easing in coastal areas but there is little immediate respite for inland regions.

Before Sunday, temperatures in Canada had never passed 45C.

British Columbia Premier John Horgan said the hottest week the province had ever experienced had led to “disastrous consequences for families and for communities”.

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