(Image source from: DW)
On Sunday, the United States sweltered in dangerously hot weather, with major cities including Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York scorching in temperatures rising into triple digits.
The sultry heatwave stretching from the Midwestern plains to the Atlantic coast had almost 150 million people sparing no effort to stay cool in the stifling heat.
"We're almost near the end of the heat emergency. Temperatures will start to go back down tonight. But today's heat index could still be as high as 110 degrees (43 degrees Celsius)," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted.
"Please continue to take precautions. Keep hydrated and keep cool."
We’re almost near the end of the heat emergency. Temperatures will start to go back down tonight. But today’s heat index could still be as high as 110 degrees. Please continue to take precautions. Keep hydrated and keep cool. Head to https://t.co/B0DWoVpTzh for more information. pic.twitter.com/Cnxrwdye5B— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 21, 2019
Around 95 million people were under a heat warning or advisory for Sunday, down from Saturday's 157 million.
The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasted "more very hot and humid conditions" for the area from Washington to Baltimore, with highs "close to 100 degrees."
A cold front stretching between the Central Plains and the Great Lakes region could bring cooler weather and thunderstorms by the beginning of the week, the NWS added, bringing a possibility of flash floods to some regions.
But as of Sunday, people were advised to stay hydrated, watch out for the sick and aged, stay inside as much as possible and not leave children or animals in cars.
The heatwave has already been blamed for at least six deaths, including two earlier in the week in the eastern state of Maryland.
In Arkansas, 32-year-old former NFL player Mitch Petrus died of heatstroke Thursday after working outside his family's shop.
The New York City Triathlon, which had been scheduled for Sunday, was canceled for the first time since its founding in 2001.
Life Time, which produces the race, donated more than 12 tons of water and Gatorade Endurance drink meant for competitors to be distributed to New Yorkers in need, CBS reported.
In the meantime, the two-day OZY Fest - a food, comedy and music festival set for Central Park - was also called off.
In Washington, a popular weekly outdoor summer jazz concert at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden was canceled.
New York City opened 500 cooling centers for residents. At least three public defenders said on Twitter that inmates in New York's notorious Rikers Island jail complex were suffering from no air conditioning and that some guards had turned off fans as punishment, resulting in "deadly conditions."
The Brooklyn Defender Services legal aid group said some inmates didn't have summer clothing, only long underwear provided by the group last winter.
Top officials from the city's Department of Corrections were at the facility monitoring the response to the heatwave to "protect health and safety of everyone in the facility," de Blasio wrote on Twitter.
For any housing unit without A/C, DOC has fans, ice, water, and access to multiple cool showers. DOC senior leadership have been on site to monitor the response and protect health and safety of everyone in the facility.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 20, 2019
The department said in a statement to AFP that extra staff was on hand to distribute summer clothing, and clinics were open round the clock to treat heat-related symptoms.
Those in units without air conditioning were given access to fans, ice, water and "multiple cool showers."
Last week, the National Weather Service office in the Midwestern city of Omaha baked a tray of biscuits - savory breakfast bread akin to scones - on the dashboard of a parked car.
After about eight hours and with temperatures in the pan reaching 185 degrees, the tarts were almost to the full cooked.
Climate data showed June was the blistering month on record worldwide, with a heatwave across Europe smashing national records.
By Sowmya Sangam