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Oct. 1, 2022

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Multnomah County medical examiner: 1 potential heat death Sunday in Oregon

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PORTLAND — The Multnomah County Medical Examiner said Monday that one person died Sunday in Portland, potentially from when the temperature reached 100 degrees.

The medical examiner said Monday that the person is suspected to have died from hyperthermia. Officials said further tests will determine whether the death was officially heat-related.

The state medical examiner’s office in Oregon said previously it was investigating 14 deaths as possibly heat-related during a weeklong heat wave that ended July 31.

The seven-day hot spell in the Pacific Northwest broke heat wave duration records in Portland and Seattle. The King County Medical Examiner’s office in Seattle reported six heat-related deaths during that time period.

Climate change is fueling longer heat waves in the Pacific Northwest, a region where weeklong heat spells had been rare, according to climate experts.

Last year, about 800 people died in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia during a heat wave in late June and early July. The temperature hit an all-time high of 116 degrees in Portland.

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