Deadly Heat Wave Sweeps Across U.S., Suspected in 27 Deaths
© Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP

Deadly Heat Wave Sweeps Across U.S., Suspected in 27 Deaths

A searing heat wave gripping much of the United States has potentially claimed the lives of at least 27 people in the past week, according to reports from state officials, medical examiners, and news outlets. According to Washington News, this number, based on preliminary reports from California, Oregon, and Arizona, is expected to rise as authorities continue to assess the impact of the extreme heat.

The heat wave, which began last week, has delivered record-breaking temperatures across the West and scorched cities along the East Coast. As of Wednesday, over 135 million people across the Lower 48 states were under heat alerts, many of which are anticipated to extend into the weekend.

California has reported the majority of the deaths, where the heat shattered daily records late last week in several major cities, including San Jose, Fresno, and Oakland. In Santa Clara County, encompassing San Jose, Chief Medical Examiner Michelle Jordan stated that her office is investigating 14 cases of suspected heat-related deaths. Of these, eight individuals were over the age of 65, and most were found in their homes. Additionally, two of the deceased were homeless, and one was living in transitional housing.

“These cases are still under investigation,” Jordan emphasized, noting that a definitive death toll may take days or weeks to finalize. Report from The Guardian. While the current number of fatalities is not alarmingly high for the region, Jordan warned, “We’re going to experience another heat wave that’s going to last for the next three days.”


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