Despite promises, California doesn’t know how many people died in record summer heat wave
The death toll from the record July heat wave in Southern California was only recently counted, but the data still underlines the severity of the crisis.
California’s public health department initially issued a tally of 38 deaths on its website. A later count by the Associated Press found that the number had jumped to 80, but the numbers were never reconciled.
The AP reported the new numbers on Monday and quoted a doctor “who has treated some of the patients” as saying the figures “still leave questions unanswered. What was the exact cause? Was it heat-related or underlying health problems? Was it linked to another stress?”
The AP has also reached out to experts for comment.
The health department said it was counting fatalities based on its data and there hadn’t been any “changes in its methodology,” but the AP’s count found it had only counted one death that was potentially heat-related, based on the “limited medical records provided to journalists.”
The AP has reached out to experts who would know what caused and how many people died in the record July heat wave.
The record high temperature of 111 degrees Fahrenheit at a Los Angeles newsroom on July 12 was one of the most heated days in California history. It broke the record for the hottest July day that was broken in 2003 as well, according to the state’s National Weather Service. It also was one of the hottest July days on record for Southern California, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The heat wave began on July 8 with temperatures soaring into the 90s, and on other days, temperatures were even above 100.
Californians complained about the heat wave and its impact on businesses and infrastructure, the AP reported, adding