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Western heat waves threaten the health of vulnerable communities

On Thursday, June 17, 2021, people wait for the bus in the shade as the heat waves of the western states continue in Phoenix. Credits: AP Photo / Ross D. Franklin

Extreme temperatures that hit the western United States this week are not just annoying, but deadly.


Record temperatures this week have been a meteorological emergency, with more deaths in the United States than all other natural disasters combined, according to scientists and medical experts.More frequent and intense Heat waves probably caused by climate change And the worst drought in modern history, they say, is that communities must better protect vulnerable people Homeless People living in low-income areas of ethnic and racial diversity.

“This heat has a significant impact on people and their health,” said Dr. Sugania Carpana, Chief Medical Director of the Valle del Sol Community Health Clinic in Arizona.

People need, along with plants and animals Lower temperature According to scientists and doctors, the night is to recover from the stress of high fever. But at nighttime temperatures in the 90’s, that doesn’t happen.

Karuppana says that many of the people she sees don’t have cars, have to use public transport in the heat of Phoenix, walk in areas with few trees, and have little or no shade. He said he was waiting at the bus and light rail stops. Some people live in poorly ventilated mobile homes or do not have air conditioning. Or they may work outside in the sun as construction workers or landscape architects.

Western heat waves threaten the health of vulnerable communities

Pedestrians walk on the sidewalk next to the homeless camp on Thursday, June 17, 2021, as temperatures continue to rise above 115 degrees Celsius in Phoenix. Credits: AP Photo / Ross D. Franklin

Phoenix is ​​baked at temperatures above 115 degrees Celsius (46 degrees Celsius) throughout the week. Friday’s highest temperature hit a record of 117 degrees Celsius (47 degrees Celsius) after breaking another Thursday at 118 degrees Celsius (48 degrees Celsius). This week, daily records were set in various parts of the western United States, including Nevada and California, including 128 degrees Celsius in Death Valley on Thursday.

People who are vulnerable to high temperatures include very young people, very old people, people with heart and kidney diseases, and diseases that disproportionately affect the color community.

Nicorette Louisand, Executive Director of Washington’s Nonprofit Healthcare Lady, founded after Hurricane Katrina to help communities cope with natural disasters, said:

According to Louissaint, her organization will fund a cooling center that provides bottled water and sunshades, and arrange transportation for the elderly without cars that require dialysis or heart tests. By doing so, we have supported the emergency situation of fever.

Western heat waves threaten the health of vulnerable communities

Jack White jumps into his grandparents’ backyard pool in the heat of his home in Yuma Mesa, Arizona, on Thursday, June 17, 2021, and is watched by his dog Jackson. Credit: Randy Hoeft / The Yuma Sun via AP

“Extreme heat really exacerbates such a serious condition,” she said. “It’s hard for people who don’t have money.”

Phoenix and other municipalities around the Southwest Remind people Drink plenty of water on social media, avoid sunlight if possible, and take frequent breaks on hot days. They warn people not to leave their children and pets in their cars and work with nonprofits like the Salvation Army to open facilities where people can cool down.

The increased risk of fever was painfully apparent three years ago when 72-year-old Stephanie Pullman died at his home in the Phoenix area after Arizona’s largest utility stopped service due to failure to pay $ 51. became. Coroners cited “environmental heat exposure” as one of the causes of death in 2018.

It led to a series of moratoriums on delinquent electricity charges in Arizona that lasted until the end of last year during the coronavirus pandemic. Arizona Public Service, a utility company, said it suspended the service disconnection until October 15 and exempted it from late fees.

Western heat waves threaten the health of vulnerable communities

Yuma Snow On The Go owner, Aaron Denison, on the left, hands ice water to the United States Postal Service in Yuma, Arizona, on Thursday afternoon, June 17, 2021, for a cool snack.Credit: Yumasan via Randy Hoeft / AP

The county, including Phoenix, reported three heat-related deaths as of Saturday, and another 20 deaths have been investigated, probably due to high temperatures.

The number of heat-related deaths in Maricopa County has increased dramatically in recent years, with 323 reported last year, a record high. The highest rates were reported between blacks and Native Americans. About 80% of those who died were men.

People living on the street are especially at risk. Maricopa County medical inspectors said fever was the main or secondary cause of the deaths of 146 homeless people last year, when summer was the hottest ever recorded in Phoenix.

Scientists say heat deaths in the western United States and around the world were expected to increase.

So Average temperature Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist at the US Atmospheric Research Center in Boulder, Colorado, said the global rise and heat has become even more extreme.

  • Western heat waves threaten the health of vulnerable communities

    On Thursday, June 17, 2021, roofers are working on a new roof for home development as the heat wave continues in Phoenix. Credits: AP Photo / Ross D. Franklin

  • Western heat waves threaten the health of vulnerable communities

    As temperatures soared to triple digits for three consecutive days, vendor James Oehlerking set out to prepare drinks for sale at Coors Field’s main concourse before the first inning of a baseball game on Thursday, June 17th. Spread the ice in the tub of bottled beer. In 2021, in Denver. Credits: AP Photo / David Zalubowski

  • Western heat waves threaten the health of vulnerable communities

    Pedestrians walk down the street next to the homeless camp on Thursday, June 17, 2021, as temperatures continue to rise above 115 degrees Celsius in Phoenix. Credits: AP Photo / Ross D. Franklin

  • Western heat waves threaten the health of vulnerable communities

    Pedestrians walk next to homeless camps as temperatures continue to rise above 115 degrees Celsius in Phoenix on Thursday, June 17, 2021. Credits: AP Photo / Ross D. Franklin

  • Western heat waves threaten the health of vulnerable communities

    When temperatures soar to triple digits for three consecutive days, men will use scooters to travel along Denver’s 20th Street on Thursday, June 17, 2021. Credits: AP Photo / David Zalubowski

  • Western heat waves threaten the health of vulnerable communities

    Dogwalkers will water a herd of dogs from a fountain at the Separveda Basin Dog Park in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Thursday, June 17, 2021. Temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s were expected above and below the state. Three-digit highs are expected in deserts, some mountains, non-coastal valleys, and inner regions. Credits: AP Photo / Richard Vogel

“As the average climate warms due to the increase in human-generated greenhouse gases, we see more intense, more frequent, and longer lasting heat waves,” Mir said.

Research last month We estimated the number of annual heat deaths that could result from anthropogenic global warming. This includes about 200 US cities, with more than 1,100 deaths annually. Climate change-Heat is generated, many in the east and midwest, and many people do not have air conditioning or are not accustomed to the heat.

Joellen Russell, a professor of climate science at the University of Arizona at Tucson, said the Southwestern United States was an early example of a later danger hitting other parts of the United States. heat Extremes caused by global warming.

“I think you should hurry,” she said. “Our children rely on us.”


Western United States Prepared for Record Heat Waves


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Western heat waves threaten the health of vulnerable communities

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