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Heatwave brings fatalities to border region

Audio

Aired 4/19/09



High temperatures and humidity are a deadly combination in Mexicali, across the border from Calexico. As KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson explains, today's high of 113 degrees offers no relief.

Twenty people have died in Mexicali due to the heat since the beginning of this month. Media reports say nine have died just this past weekend. The Weather Channel reported high temperatures and high humidity combined to make it feel like 140 there.

Baja California Civil Protection spokesman Gabriel Gomez says the victims range in age from 28 to 85 years old. He says many had existing health problems that made them vulnerable to the heat.

Gomez says 50,000 people in Mexicali do not have running water or electricity in their homes which makes it more difficult to cope. He says the city is delivering drinking water to these neighborhoods, and the health department has set up mobile clinics.

Weather reports show high temperatures are expected to remain above 100 degrees in Mexicali through Friday. Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

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