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Four known heat-related sudden deaths reported to Coquitlam RCMP, but more is very likely

Port Moody police add they did not receive any sudden-death calls in the last 24 hours as other detachments report more than 100 during "dangerous" heat wave.
Ambulance. | Brendan Kergin, Glacier Media

The "dangerous, long-duration" heat wave has claimed more than 100 lives and counting across Metro Vancouver.

It's been reported across jurisdictions in the region today (June 29) the extreme heat that's taken place in recent days has believed to have contributed to several sudden deaths, which have been called to first responders.

This has included Coquitlam RCMP, who confirm to Tri-City News four related fatalities were called to them as of noon today, but believe the number is much higher considering temperatures reached the mid-40s the last two days.

Additional data was not immediately available to Tri-City News as of this publication.

We will provide and report a more comprehensive update once the information is made available.

Meanwhile, Port Moody police told Tri-City News they had no sudden-death calls in the last 24 hours.

In Burnaby, Mounties report a total of 34 sudden-death calls in the last 48 hours. The detachment initially confirmed 25 sudden-death calls with heat believed to be a contributing factor, but added in a social media post that officers responded to 19 more today.

Between Friday (June 25) — when the heatwave began — and today at 1:45 p.m., Vancouver police had responded to 65 sudden deaths, according to a statement. Of those, 20 were on Tuesday, and police are still responding to related calls.

In Surrey, RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Elenor Sturko confirmed they had recorded 38 sudden deaths over less than 36 hours, far higher than the two-to-five reported on an average day.

According to the BC Coroners Service, there were 233 suspected heat-contributing sudden-death calls between June 25 and 3 p.m. on Monday (June 28).

"This number will increase as data continues to be updated," said chief coroner Lisa Lapointe in a release.

“I extend my condolences to those who have lost a loved one during this unprecedented time.

“Coroners are carefully gathering all information available for each death reported, to determine the cause and manner of death, and whether excessive heat played a role."


Seniors with chronic health conditions may be among the most vulnerable to heat-related illness, prompting Port Coquitlam phone volunteers to make special effort to reach out during the heat wave.

Royce Shook, president of the Wilson Seniors’ Advisory Association, said he’s been calling people and has yet to find anyone who has become sick or stressed because of the heat.

Still, he said he’s very aware of the potential danger, having nearly collapsed himself while in Australia during nearly 50C heat.

“It can sneak up on you,” said Royce, who will be making a special effort to warn people to take extra care to stay cool and hydrated during the ongoing warm weather.

His Port Coquitlam Phone Buddies will make a special effort as well when they call isolated seniors.

“We are going to continue to phone and make sure they get the message out they have to take steps to protect themselves,” he said.

Shook said he’s been staying cool with fans and by wearing cold cloths on his neck.


According to Environment Canada's forecast, daytime highs in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody will hover around the mid-30s but will feel like the mid-40s in the afternoon with humidity.

Overnight temperatures may only go as low as 20 C, the national service predicts, but it will lead to a week of likely seasonal temperatures across Metro Vancouver communities.

Starting July 1, the thermometer is expected to peak in the mid-20s, but could feel like 30 C, while dipping to the mid-10s at night.

- with files from Diane Strandberg, Tri-City News, Brendan Kergin, Vancouver Is Awesome, and Stefan Labbe, Glacier Media