"Vancouver has never experienced heat like this, and sadly dozens of people are dying because of it."
Vancouver police are urging Canadians to check on their vulnerable loved ones and neighbours, as the city attempts to cope with "unprecedented casualties" related to the ongoing heat wave in Canada.
In a statement shared on June 29, Vancouver Police Department (VPD) pleaded with residents to only call 911 during emergencies, as "heat-related deaths have depleted front-line resources and severely delayed response times throughout the city."
Confirming dozens of officers would be redeployed to assist with the sweltering conditions, VPD admitted that the force is "stretched thin."
"Vancouver has never experienced heat like this, and sadly dozens of people are dying because of it," Sergeant Steve Addison said on Tuesday.
As of 1:45 p.m. on June 29, VPD had responded to over 65 sudden deaths since the heat wave began on Friday, with "more casualties being reported by the hour."
Addison said the "vast majority" were related to the record-breaking temperatures in the region and urged Canadians with elderly or vulnerable relatives to check in on them ASAP.
A report from CTV News says that 134 sudden deaths had been reported in total in Metro Vancouver as of Tuesday evening, "most related to heat."
At 4:20pm, Lytton Climate Station reported 49.5°C, once again, breaking the daily and all-time temperature records… https://t.co/f97KTXXRov— ECCC Weather British Columbia (@ECCC Weather British Columbia) 1625009386.0
This comes as Canada continues to record all-time high temperatures.
On June 29, the country obliterated its national heat record for the third consecutive day.
The village of Lytton in B.C. reported 49.5 C on Tuesday afternoon, breaking the previous day's record.
Before this most recent heat wave, Saskatchewan held the all-time record, reporting temperatures of 45.0 C back in July, 1937.