This morning we told you about how the death toll from the heat wave this past week matched that of the infamous 1998 winter storm that paralyzed much of Quebec.
Well now we can unfortunately report that the number of heat wave casualties has dwarfed the death count of the storm twenty years ago.
A whopping 50 people are now confirmed dead in Quebec. 28 people died in Montreal, alone.
This news makes the brutal heat that started July one of the deadliest natural disasters in Canadian history. High temperatures, and not an earthquake, tsunami, or hurricane, have killed 50 people. That is astonishing.
The worst news is that we can expect many more such cataclysmic heat fronts in the future as the globe continues to warm. In a city built to withstand its famous, freezing winters, that means a complete transformation of infrastructure and protocol.
Upriver and in a temperate zone, Montreal is seemingly safe from the worst effects of climate change. But this latest weather event portends a bleak future for the city.
The current death toll may rise as officers perform sweeps of vulnerable neighbourhoods and residences. In the meantime, Montrealers should always remember to check in on their elderly friends and neighbours in cases of extreme heat.