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Heat wave causes at least 14 possible deaths in Oregon

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  • Authorities are investigating 14 deaths that may be related to the heat wave in Oregon.
  • The high temperatures may have caused the victims to die of hyperthermia.
  • Towns in Oregon recorded record temps due to the heat wave.

Authorities in Oregon are investigating four additional deaths potentially related to last week’s scorching heat wave, bringing the total number of suspected hyperthermia deaths to 14, according to NBC News in the early hours of Tuesday, August 2.

The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office reported Monday that the heat-related death designation is preliminary and requires further investigation. Multnomah County, where Portland is located, registered seven deaths suspected of being related to the heat wave, the highest number of all counties in that county, according to the outlet.

Authorities investigate 14 possible heat wave deaths

Investigate 14 possible deaths from heat wave

Portland and Seattle set records Sunday for the most consecutive days of high temperatures. In Portland, temperatures that day topped 95 degrees Fahrenheit for the seventh day in a row, a city record for consecutive days above that mark.

Further north, in Seattle, the temperature climbed to 91 F in the early afternoon, marking a six-day record above 90 F. Temperatures hovered in triple digits nearly all of last week in the Portland area, prompting officials to open emergency overnight shelters and cooling stations, NBC News reported.

Heat wave warning issued in two cities

Heat wave warning issued in two towns

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for the Portland and Seattle regions through Sunday night. Temperatures began to cool on Monday as cooler Pacific air blew in, NBC News reported on Tuesday.

Climate change is causing longer heat waves in the Pacific Northwest, a region where week-long hot spells were historically rare, according to climate experts quoted by the AP and NBC News.

Record high temperatures

Record figures for high temperatures are recorded

Residents and officials in the Northwest have been trying to adjust to the likely reality of longer, hotter heat waves after last summer’s deadly “heat dome” weather phenomenon that led to record temperatures and deaths, NBC News reported.

Around 800 people died in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia during that heat wave, which hit in late June and early July 2021. The temperature reached an all-time high of 116 F in Portland, the NBC News reported.

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