When did you decide to switch? Natal, one of the sunny capitals of northeastern Brazil, before CanadaIn 2016, one of the main concerns of 32-year-old logistics analyst Leonardo Macedo was the harsh winter in the North American country. However, the heat wave that hits the Canadian west and northwest of United State Since last weekend they’ve been making the Northeast person ask for a milder temperature.
“I never imagined you’d go through this here in Canada, which is known to be a cold country. Coming from Natal, a warm tropical city, I’ve never felt a heat sensation like this. Which must happen a lot.”
Macedo and his wife, Luisa Freire, 30, live in British Columbia, the Canadian state that has suffered the most from the heat wave. It was there that, last Tuesday, the 29th, the record for the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada was broken: 49.6 degrees Celsius, in the inner city of Lytton. at Vancouver, Where the couple lives, thermometers approached 40 degrees Celsius, but the sensation of heat made daily activities almost unbearable.
“We usually use the longest days of summer to go to the beach or the park after work, but we couldn’t leave the house. On Monday, which I think was the worst day, it was hard even working from home at the office. We only have two fans in the house, and they didn’t .The whole time we would wake up to drink water and get ice to try to cool off the heat and stay hydrated,” said Louisa, who works as a student service coordinator at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
for the purpose of Facing inhuman heat, The couple resorted to different strategies, based on trial and error. “When you feel the heat, you usually open the window so the air gets in, right? But when we did, the stifling hot air got in. We had to close all the windows so the heat wouldn’t get in,” Macedo says.
“What really worked was closing the windows and blinds to keep out too much heat, and turning on the fans. Sleeping was the hardest part, we even put wet clothes on over us to see if it would help the winds blowing by the fans – and it really helped,” said Louisa. .
Canada’s infrastructure also hurt Leonardo and Louisa – as well as the entire population in the area affected by the heat wave. Since the country is located in a temperate zone, where the average temperature is usually moderate in summer and severe in winter, the buildings are set up for extreme cold, not for the heat recorded in recent days.
“Everything is very prepped for the cold. In the city where I live, there is at least a week out of every year when the temperature reaches -40°C, with a thermal feel of -50°C, so everything is perfectly prepared for winter,” the engineer Brazilian Eric Bonora, 27 years old.
Edmonton, where the engineer lived for three years, hit 38°C during the week, and the challenge of meeting the heat varies in Canadian infrastructure. “It’s different from Brazil,” Bonora explained. “The buildings don’t have air conditioning, they have central heating. The places you go to usually don’t go either, and it’s not available to people at home.”
“The temperature got so high that it overloaded the air conditioners in the two company offices where I work. You work indoors, it’s 38°C…it changed everyone’s mood. It was not a great experience.”
deaths due to heat
The heat wave was so intense that Vancouver Police Investigate whether at least 65 sudden deaths were directly related to high temperature. In British Columbia, 233 people died last weekend, an average of more than 100 people during this period, raising doubts about the effect of heat on deaths. At least 12 cases were also investigated in Washington and Oregon, US states that were also affected by the weather event.
“The investigation is still ongoing, but the authorities are linking the deaths to this heat wave,” Luisa said. “This was one of the things that impressed me the most. We came from Brazil and have never heard of someone who died from the heat.” .
In addition to the heat itself – which has prompted authorities to issue special care alerts, especially to the most vulnerable, such as the elderly and people with kidney and cardiovascular disease – the risk of wildfires is also a concern.
In Leyton, the city that broke the Canadian record for hottest temperature three times this week, a fire Wednesday night destroyed nearly 90 per cent of the city, according to the Royal Mounted Police. The risk of wildfires is also a concern in the United States, where President Joe Biden is trying to avert a serious crisis like the one recorded last year in California.
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