LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — More than 600 people are killed by the extreme heat each year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control.
In comparison, approximately 95 people are killed each year by floods in the U.S.
An average of 49 people are killed each year by lightning. Only about 10% of people who are struck by lightning are killed, leaving 90% with various degrees of disability.
And tornadoes kill approximately 80 people and injures 1,500 people each year, according to the National Weather Service.
That means that extreme heat kills far more people than the other 3 combined.
The CDC says that a total of 10,527 deaths resulted from exposure to heat-related conditions between the years of 2004 and 2018.
Heat-related deaths have more than tripled in some states in the Southwest since 2014, according to the National Weather Service.
In the state of Arizona, the number from 76 in 2014 to 235 in 2017. In Nevada, that number went from 29 to 139 during the same three years.
Between the years of 2007 and 2016, there were 437 heat-related deaths in Las Vegas. Most of those deaths happened in 2016, which had one of the highest heat index measures in the last 35 years.
Data shows that 123 people died from heat in Clark County in 2017 and 130 people died from heat in Clark County in 2018. Fortunately, that number dropped to 78 heat-related deaths in 2019.
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People at the greatest risk of a heat-related illness are:
- People ages 65 and older who may not compensate for heat stress efficiently or less likely to send and respond to a change in temperature.
- Infants and children up to the age of 4 who are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and dependent on others to keep them cool.
- People who are overweight who may be prone to heat sickness because their bodies retain more heat.
- People who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.
- People who overexert themselves may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.