Heat Kills 13 In US
13 people have died in the intense heat wave that has plagued the southern United States for the past two weeks, with air in other parts of the country being contaminated by forest fires in Canada.
The highest death toll, 11 people, was registered in Webb County, Texas, near the Mexican border.”As of Wednesday, there has been 11 total deaths,” local officials said in a statement to AFP. “Ten are Webb County residents, the eleventh death was from a neighboring county that was brought to a local hospital and unfortunately passed away.”A 14-year-old died last week when he was hiking in Big Bend National Park in Texas, where temperatures reached 119 Fahrenheit (48 Celsius). Tragically, the victim’s stepfather died in a car accident as he was rushing to the boy’s rescue.
A 62-year-old woman died in the neighboring state of Louisiana last week, after a storm left thousands of families without power and thus without air conditioning, according to local officials.
Recent days have seen temperatures in major southern US cities feel like 113 degrees Fahrenheit; in Houston, Texas, where there are 2.3 million people, the pavement is cracking, and authorities have put up cooling facilities.
The worst forest fire season in Canada’s history, which scientists believe is made worse by human-caused climate change, persisted in the meanwhile.
Large swaths of the United States, which are home to more than 120 million
people, from the Midwest to the East Coast, were still under air quality alerts as smoke moved south.
According to the government website AirNow, the air in New York and Philadelphia was deemed unhealthy.
The Canadian state of Ontario, the majority of the North American Great Lakes, and portions of Minnesota, North Carolina, and Georgia all received air quality alerts.
Additionally, smoke from the flames has traveled across Portugal and Spain as well as other European nations across the Atlantic Ocean.