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People rest at the Oregon Convention Center cooling station in Oregon, Portland on June 28, as a heatwave moves over much of the United States. Photo: Kathryn Elsesser/AFP via Getty Images

The worst heat wave on record in the Pacific Northwest has resulted in more than 1,100 people going to the hospital for possible heat-related illness as of Tuesday, BuzzFeed reports.

Why it matters: Despite reaching an unprecedented peak on Monday, this event is not finished, given continued record-high temperatures in areas further away from the coast. Extreme heat threatens lives, ranking as the nation's top weather-related killer annually, according to the National Weather Service.

By the numbers: Since Friday, Washington state hospitals have reported 676 emergency department visits for suspected heat-related illness, per BuzzFeed. Of those, 81 led to inpatient admission.

  • By contrast, total heat-related hospitalizations in Washington have only exceeded 51 twice between 2000 and 2018, state data shows.

Oregon has tallied 459 emergency department or urgent care visits for heat illnesses, with at least 97 occurring in Portland and the surrounding Multnomah County between Friday and Sunday.

  • Normally "it is not unusual for the County to have zero visits for heat illness on a typical summer day," county spokesperson Kate Yeiser told BuzzFeed. But the heat wave has led to a record number of calls to the county's emergency medical services department, Yeiser noted.

Extreme heat has killed more than 11,000 people in the U.S. since 1979, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can lead to fever, nausea or vomiting, loss of consciousness and even death.

Between the lines: People in the Pacific Northwest region are not used to heat of this magnitude, which has made this event an acute health risk, Axios' Andrew Freedman writes.

  • The heat event is a direct result of climate change, experts say.
  • "Climate change is a health emergency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is literally a matter of life and death," Jeff Duchin, a public health officer for Seattle and King County, Washington, said in a statement.

The big picture: The heat wave has also damaged public transit infrastructure and raised the risk of wildfires.

  • The unusual weather pattern, colloquially known as a "heat dome," will continue to yield unusually hot temperatures throughout parts of Canada and Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana in the coming days.

Go deeper... In photos: Roads buckle as record-setting heat wave grips Pacific Northwest

Go deeper

Why Austinites live longer

Expand chart
Data: University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Travis County, home to Austin, has the longest median life expectancy — by a lot — of virtually any major urban county in Texas, per an Axios analysis of county-by-county population data.

The big picture: Austin is also wealthier, better educated and generally has smaller Latino populations than its counterparts, experts tell Axios — variables that track neatly with life expectancy.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations were "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.

Updated 5 hours ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand.