CANADA: Heat wave claim 54 lives

People cool down in a public pool in Montreal Thursday

Officials urge people to drink plenty of water and stay in the shade, to go to the neighbors and be interested in their health.

While the stifling weather also hung over Ontario and parts of Atlantic Canada, no deaths had been reported elsewhere, in part because various jurisdictions have different ways of gathering data on heat-related fatalities.

In the canadian province of Quebec the number of deaths from heat was increased to 50 people.

"It could save a life", Genereux said.

It lasted two days longer than a similar five-day period of extreme heat in 2010, but heat warnings were lifted overnight on Friday as temperatures began to cool.

Twenty-eight of the deaths were in Montreal, said Marie-Claude Lacasse with the Ministry of Health. The temperature of the air in their homes reached 38 degrees.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted condolences to the relatives of the Quebec victims. The other victims were reported in the southwest of the French-Canadian province.

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But Ontario does not track heat related deaths in the same way as Quebec and does not report on potential causes of death without a coroner's investigation.

A record-breaking heat wave is smothering parts of central and eastern Canada.

"What we know is, first they have heat stroke".

He said that disadvantaged people who had chronic illnesses or were living alone were particularly vulnerable.

Montreal-area paramedics aren't expecting a big drop-off in calls today despite the more bearable conditions.

Urgences-sante says it has been inundated by the volume of calls - 1,200 calls per day in Montreal and nearby Laval over the past four days, which is 30 per cent more than usual on busy days.

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