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And alarming numbers show a rising death toll in Canada related to the heat.

Numerous victims were men over the age of 50 living alone in private apartments and seniors' residences, according to Dr. David Kaiser with Montreal's public health department.

The sweltering weather began last Friday with temperatures hitting 35 degrees Celcius with high humidity.

Most of the victims linked to the "overwhelming heat" were in the Montreal area, which recorded 28 fatalities, metropolitan health authorities told AFP in an email.

Stefan Overhoff, chief operating officer at Urgences-sante ambulance service, said people who've endured the heat for several days could still be susceptible to health problems. "We're inviting the population to be vigilant for the next two days - for themselves as well as those close to them".

Health officials in Quebec this week urged people to drink plenty of water, reduce physical activity, seek out air conditioning, and stay in the shade.

"We go out to the paramedics, we go out to the hospitals and we ask them to make sure to identify any deaths they believe are related to heat and that allows us to intervene more quickly", Kaiser said.

A government heat warning is in place for the region, but meteorologists are forecasting a drop in temperatures at the end of the week.

Dulisse encouraged family, friends and neighbors to do "regular check-ins" on people who are older or sick.

Eighteen of the victims were in Montreal, while the rest died in areas across southern Quebec, the officials said.

A heatwave in Canada has killed 33 people in the past week.

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