Heat wave in Phoenix claimed lives of more than 400 people

A deadly heat wave in metro Phoenix last summer caused over 400 fatalities, highlighting the severe impact of extreme temperatures on vulnerable populations.

Anita Snow reports for TheAssociated Press.


In short:

  • Priscilla Orr, 75, died from heat exposure in a supermarket parking lot after losing her home to a scam.
  • Over two-thirds of the 645 heat-related deaths in Maricopa County occurred during a 31-day streak of temperatures above 110°F.
  • Victims ranged widely in age and background, including the elderly, homeless, and those with health issues.

Key quote:

"This should not have happened to her. She should have lived until she was 100."

— Anna Marie Colella

Why this matters:

This tragic event emphasizes the need for strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change. Extreme heat, often exacerbated by urban heat islands, can be especially dangerous for the elderly, young children, and those with preexisting health conditions.

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