Extreme heat linked to 6 deaths in Montreal

Public Health officials in Montreal announced that half a dozen people died in the city since the start of the intense heat wave took hold of many parts of the province.

The six victims lived alone and had been diagnosed with chronic diseases or mental health problems. None had air conditioning and all lived in apartment buildings.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard called the deaths tragic, adding officials should expect these types of weather events every year.

The total does not include deaths that could be indirectly linked to the heat wave, like the 6-year-old boy who drowned in Saint-Leonard while trying to cool off in a pool with his family.

With the heat continuing until at least Thursday evening, officials have kicked their emergency plan into high gear, targeting those most vulnerable during these extreme temperatures.

While the number of deaths related to the heat may be high, Dr. Mylene Drouin, Montreal's regional director of Public Health, says it could have been much deadlier.

"Usually in a normal situation we have 10 deaths per day, so we're not in an excess of mortality," Drouin said.

It's believed at least four other deaths across the province can be directly linked to the heat.

To help keep cool and safe while the heat warning remains in effect (and should be around until at least late Thursday):

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Enjoy a cool shower/bath or take a dip in a pool
  • Stay in air-conditioned or cool places (shopping malls, libraries, movie theatres) if you feel yourself being overwhelmed
  • Limit your physical activity
  • Wear light clothing