instagram envelope_alt facebook twitter search youtube_play whatsapp remove external_link loop2 arrow-down2

19 die and roads melt as global heatwave hits 54C

Keep on stickin’: A lorry driver’s
wheels are covered with melted
bitumen in Australia PIC: EPA

BRITAIN is not alone in experiencing a record-breaking heatwave, with soaring temperatures across the world being blamed for multiple deaths.

Roads have melted in Australia and at least 19 people have died in Canada, where the mercury has risen to 47C — while Denver, in the US, has topped 40C, parts of Pakistan peaked at 50.2C and Ahvaz in Iran saw a sweltering 54C.

The deaths in Canada have centred on the state of Quebec, and included 12 in the province’s capital Montreal, which hit a temperature high of 37C.

It’s spray time: Children play among fountains in Montreal PIC: GETTY

Environment Canada issued weather and smog warnings after the heatwave began last Friday — although temperatures are tipped to fall towards 23C from today.

David Kaiser, from Montreal’s public health department, said those who died were all over 65 and had pre-existing health problems. He added: ‘None of them had access to air conditioning. Many of them were living alone.’

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: ‘My thoughts are with the loved ones of those who have died during this heatwave.’

Street shower: Keeping cool in Baghdad PIC: XINHUA/AVALON

Up to 50 motorists were left with their tyres covered in bitumen that had melted on a stretch of road outside the Australian city of Cairns in northern Queensland. Tablelands regional mayor Joe Paronella said: ‘I have never seen anything like it.’

Scientists say climate change is responsible for more intense global heatwaves this summer than previous years. Friederike Otto, of the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute, said: ‘Summers keep getting hotter — heatwaves are far more intense than when my parents were growing up in the 1950s.

‘If we do nothing to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, the kind of extreme heat we saw this past summer will be the norm.’

By contrast, Hurricane Fabio in Mexico is now a tropical storm.