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Heat-related deaths soared in Mexico during June heat wave

Extreme temperatures that hit parts of the United States and Mexico this month have led to a soaring number of heat-related deaths. The fatalities come as climate change is causing more frequent and extreme heat waves.

At least 112 people have died of heat stroke or dehydration in Mexico so far this year. That’s nearly three-times as many heat-related deaths as were recorded in all of 2022.

The spike in fatalities came amid a deadly heat wave in Texas and northern Mexico, according to a report from Mexico’s health ministry. There were with 69 heat-related fatalities recorded in the week of June 18-24 alone, and an additional 31 reported from June 11-17.

The highest number of deaths have been reported in the northern border state of Nuevo Leon, where 64 deaths have been tied to extreme temperatures so far this year. Nearby Tamaulipas and Veracruz have also reported double-digit fatalities, with 19 and 15 respectively, and Sonora recorded two heat-related deaths.

More than 70% of those fatalities were among people over the age of 65, according to the data.

In additional to the high number of deaths, nearly 1,600 people across Mexico have also sought medical treatment this year for heat-related illnesses including heatstroke, dehydration and severe burns, according to the report.

Kendal Blust was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.