9 Jul 2012

Fatal heatwave in US

8:37 am on 9 July 2012

At least 42 people have died in the United States in a heatwave that has brought soaring temperatures to a dozen states from the Midwest to the East Coast.

Many of the deaths were of elderly people in homes without air-conditioning because of power outages caused by storms a week ago.

People in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, New Jersey, Maryland and Indiana still have no power.

On Saturday temperatures reached 41 degrees Celsius in Washington DC and 46 degrees in St Louis, Missouri.

The BBC reports crops shrivelled and roads and railway lines buckled in the heat.

Officials in Chicago cancelled summer schools classes in 21 buildings without air conditioning because of the heat.

High temperatures have also been recorded in parts of Canada.

The BBC reports cooler weather is said to be on the way for northern parts of the Midwest, although strong storms could accompany the lower temperatures.