- BBC News World
A small town in British Columbia, which this week recorded the highest temperature in history in Canada, had to be evacuated because of the uncontrolled fires that were plaguing it.
Flames engulfed Lytton, some 160 miles northeast of Vancouver, on Wednesday night, as reported by Canadian public television CBC, forcing residents to flee, many without their belongings.
The mayor of Lytton, Jan Polderman, was the one who issued the evacuation order for the city’s 250 residents, in which thermometers reached 49.5ºC on Tuesdaythe highest temperature ever recorded in Canada.
“It’s terrible. The whole city is on fire”That’s what Polderman tells CBC News. “It was about 15 minutes from the first sign of smoke until suddenly there was fire everywhere.”
A video shows residents running out of the city and countless buildings on fire.
This news comes as western Canada and the northwestern United States grapple with a historic heat wave that has broken temperature records in many places.
In addition, British Columbia recorded 486 sudden deaths in the past five days, three times the usual number. Many of these deaths are attributed to heat.
And at least in the western United States there are 80 muertos, the AP agency said.
The cause of this wave corresponds to a “heat dome” of static hot airO the high pressure (which acts like the lid of a jar) stretching from California to the arctic regions.
Temperatures are lower in coastal areas, but inland there is little respite.
Before Sunday, temperatures in Canada had never risen above 45°C. Experts say climate change is expected to increase the frequency of these extreme events. However, it is complicated to link what is happening in Canada today with global warming.
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