At least 112 people have died in Mexico as a result of “natural extreme temperatures” since March, according to the country’s health secretariat.
The Mexican state of Nuevo León was hardest hit, with 64 deaths confirmed, according to the report. Dozens of deaths were also reported across Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Tabasco, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Sonora, and Campeche.
At least 1,559 people received medical treatment for temperature-related problems in the same period, the report also said.
Over the past ten days in particular, Mexico has seen record-breaking temperatures, with some locations seeing monthly or even all-time records: temperatures have topped 45 degrees Celsius in places (113 degrees Fahrenheit).
In Tamaulipas, local authorities announced Wednesday that dozens had died in the current heatwave, prompting governor Américo Villarreal Anaya to order the formation of a working group to develop a response plan.
Tamaulipas’s Secretary of Health tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that high temperatures will continue across the state, advising people to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and to stay in cool, well-ventilated areas.
Scorching temperatures in both Mexico and the southern US states are being brought on by a “heat dome,” which is created when a ridge of high pressure builds over an area, trapping air inside as temperatures warm – often to uncomfortable or even dangerous levels.
The heat domes that drive record-setting temperatures are expected to become more frequent – and hotter – due to the climate crisis.