Death toll from Canada heat wave rises to 33

Women and children play in the water fountains at the Place des Arts in Montreal on Tuesday

"My thoughts are with the loved ones of those who have died in Quebec during this heat wave", he wrote.

A heatwave in Quebec has killed at least 19 people in the past week as high summer temperatures scorched eastern Canada, health officials said Wednesday. Numerous victims suffered from chronic health issues or mental illnesses and lived in areas known as 'heat island, ' - regions prone to higher temperatures due to a lack of vegetation.

Regional public health director Mylene Drouin said that the majority of the victims were men aged between 53 and 85.

The remaining 16 deaths occurred in other parts of the French-speaking province.

"For the moment, they (deaths) conform exactly to the characteristics we've described - people with chronic illness, mental health problems, people living alone, people living in apartment blocks between four-to-six stories and without air conditioning".

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Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois said none of the deaths in Quebec took place in public health institutions.

"'Im counting on Montrealers to knock on doors, maybe of a neighbor, just to find out if the person is OK".

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said along with police and firefighters, residents need to check on vulnerable neighbors.

A smog warning is also in effect for those areas as, Environment Canada states, high concentrations of ozone are expected and will result in poor air quality.

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