Heat suspected to be cause of 10 deaths from Pacific Northwest heatwave

Medical examiners are investigating whether the deaths of 10 people who died in a brutal heat wave in the Pacific Northwest last week were heat-related, officials say.

Triple-digit temperatures were recorded across much of the Pacific Northwest that started on Tuesday and lasted through the weekend – an area that is rarely used to seeing temperatures rise above the 90 degree mark.

On Sunday, potential heat-related deaths were reported in Multnomah County, which includes Portland, as well as Umatilla County, Marion County and Clackamas County, according to a statement from the City Medical Examiner’s Office. State of Oregon. The deaths occurred from Thursday to Saturday, officials said.

Jalen Askari, 7, right, clogs his nose as he falls into the pool he plays in with his siblings, left to right, Amari, 5, Bella, 2, and DJ, 10, in Portland , Oregon, July 26, 2022 Large swathes of western Oregon and Washington are well above historic average temperatures.

Craig Mitchelldyer/AP

Excessive heat warnings were in effect for much of the region last week. On Tuesday, Portland hit 102 degrees, while temperatures hit 102 degrees in Redding, Calif., and 107 degrees in Yakima, Washington.

Heat is the #1 weather-related killer. On average, more people in the United States die from extreme heat than from any other severe weather event, including tornadoes, hurricanes and floods combined, according to the National Weather Service.

Portland has seen temperatures over 95 degrees for seven straight days, breaking a previous record of six days.

Vulnerable populations, including poor and marginalized communities and those with pre-existing health conditions such as asthma and heart disease, are most at risk when temperatures start to soar, Ladd Keith, assistant professor at the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning at the University of Arizona, told ABC News in June.

PHOTO: Rory Lidster, 55, carries his belongings after checking into a cooling center in Portland, Oregon July 26, 2022.

Rory Lidster, 55, carries his belongings after checking into a cooling center in Portland, Oregon on July 26, 2022.

Craig Mitchelldyer/AP

Extreme heat prompted Oregon Governor Kate Brown to declare a state of emergency that lasted until Sunday. The majority of households in the Pacific Northwest do not have central air conditioning.

Last week’s heatwave drew parallels to the two historic heatwaves that hit the region in the summer of 2021. Scientists later found that those heatwaves would have been “virtually impossible” without the change. climate change and rising global temperatures.

The heat is expected to leave the Pacific Northwest on Monday and head east to Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, where high triple-digit temperatures are possible.

ABC News

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