Sunday, March 3, 2024

People and pelicans suffer under Baja California heat wave

A sweltering heat wave in Baja California has cost the lives of seven people and temperatures are expected to remain above 30 C for the foreseeable future.

Three migrating pelicans also succumbed to the heat.

According to the state Health Secretariat, six people died of heat stroke in the capital city of Mexicali, while another died of heat exhaustion in Tecate.

Most of victims had been under direct sunlight at a time when the thermometers reached 38 C.

“With these deaths we have reached last year’s total of deaths caused by heat,” said a health official.

Hot weather has sent 29 people to hospital for heat-related illnesses: 15 suffered heat stroke, 13 suffered heat exhaustion and one person was admitted with severe sunburn.

The intense heat wave has sent the temperature dangerously close to 50 C in Mexicali, and not even a migrant bird species has had a respite.

Yesterday, 10 pelicans migrating south from the Salton Sea in California were beaten by the heat before they made it to the Sea of Cortés.

The 911 emergency line received reports of pelicans lying on the streets, triggering a deployment of federal environmental officials.

The birds were found dehydrated, and three had died. The remaining seven were transported to a local zoo were they are expected to recover fully.

Health and Civil Protection authorities throughout the state have warned the public to stay indoors as much as possible as a preventive measure.

Temperatures are expected to remain high but well below 40 C: highs around 32 C are expected around the state. Still, authorities warn people to remain hydrated and avoid performing exhausting exercises.

Source: Milenio (sp), La Jornada (sp)

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