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08 July 2018, 08:52 | Devin Moran
"While we are an advanced industrialized economy, these deaths reflect that there are serious social inequalities", he said, adding that many wealthy countries the world over had been hit by heat waves associated with climate change.
Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois said none of the deaths in Quebec took place in public health institutions.
Stefan Overhoff, chief operating officer at Urgences-sante ambulance service, says people who've endured the heat for several days could still be susceptible to health problems.
Temperatures soared to 93 Fahrenheit with a humidity that made it feel much hotter than that, the meteorological service said.
Officials urged residents to keep themselves hydrated and remain in the shade, while Montreal opened pools and air conditioned spaces to the public.
Eighteen of the victims were in Montreal, while the rest died in areas across southern Quebec, the officials said.
Neighbouring Ontario has also been coping with high temperatures but no deaths have been reported there.
"I've never experienced something lasting that long", he said, "We've [the Environment & Climate Change of Canada] been having a few phone calls with urban and regional security offices". Using their own weather models, members of the state's environmental department saw the heat wave coming in advance two weeks ago and sent out notifications.
He said that disadvantaged people who had chronic illnesses or were living alone were particularly vulnerable.
Meanwhile, a unsafe heat wave is expected to grip California and parts of the southwest Friday and into the weekend, threatening millions of people and likely fueling existing wildfires in the United States.
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The oxygen level in the cavern, which has been measured as low as 15 percent, remains a major concern, he said. The boys and their coach have been trapped in the cave since June 23 when monsoon flooding cut them off.
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