One dead and dozens sick as temperatures hit 51C in blistering US heatwave

 

Cities and towns across the western United States took emergency measures on Saturday to cope with a heatwave, after dozens of people were taken ill and the region sweltered in dangerous triple-digit temperatures.

At least one heat-related death was reported by authorities in Las Vegas, where a man in his 80s was found dead inside a house without air-conditioning.

The victim suffered from other medical issues, but paramedics suspect heat was a contributing factor in his death, Tim Szymanski, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue spokesman said.

Extreme temperatures enveloped most of California, Nevada and parts of southern Arizona as a large high-pressure system continued to trap hot air across the area, National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Lericos explained.

Lericos said that the stifling conditions are likely to continue throughout the weekend and linger into the next week. “It involves pretty much the entire West Coast at this point,” he added.

Corpus Christi hit 107F, or 42C, as triple-digit temperatures extended as far east as Texas. Salt Lake City saw highs of 41C.

Many people have been hospitalized or treated for dehydration, exhaustion and heat stroke in Los Angeles County, the country fire department said on Saturday.

During an outdoor concert in Las Vegas on Friday, 34 people were taken to the hospital, and another 170 suffered nausea and fatigue from the heat.

The annual Running with the Devil Marathon scheduled for Saturday in the Mojave Desert outside of Las Vegas, a competition in which runners are deliberately “challenged to contend with high heat,” was cancelled.

In California, Nevada and Arizona, air-conditioned cooling stations were set up in community centres, homeless shelters and libraries. US officials advised residents to avoid prolonged exposure to the searing temperatures whenever possible.

Additional border agents were posted, said Brent Cagen, spokesman for the Tucson sector of the US Border Patrol, after at least three people who attempted to illegally cross the border into Arizona were found dead earlier this week, likely succumbing to the heat.

AccuWeather.com Meteorologist D.J. Hoffman said Las Vegas on Saturday flirted with its all-time record of 47C, as the mercury rose to 46C at the airport.

The weather was forecast to remain hot on Sunday, with highs expected to reach 47C in Phoenix and 43C in Tucson, Arizona, Hoffman said.

In Phoenix, emergency shelters are temporarily adding 150 beds in an effort to safeguard hundreds of homeless.

Officials in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, said they have installed 13 air-conditioned areas in community centres and homeless shelters, though the majority of them would be closed on Sunday. In 2005, roughly 17 people died during a similar heat wave over a 10-day period in the Las Vegas area.

Death Valley posted a high on Saturday of 51C, the National Weather Service reported, which is below the all-time world record of 57C.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate