"Those numbers of deaths are really grossly underestimated," he said. It's not that the Medical Examiner's Office is doing anything wrong, he said, it's just that it's impossible to get to all the bodies. The real numbers, he added, may not be available until the mortality data becomes available in a year or two.
On Monday, the Health Department reported seven heat-related deaths verified on Saturday. An eighth victim, a 53-year-old man found the northwestern part of the city, was added to the list today.
In addition, the bodies of three more men and four women were discovered on Sunday, said Health Department spokesman Jeff Moran.
They ranged in age from 58 to 88. Seven of the victims had background heart conditions, and the 58-year-old an "unspecified mental illness."
On Friday, the peak of the heat wave, the official high temperature in Philadelphia reached 103, and it felt like 119.
The hot weather was a factor in the deaths of two men, one 55 to 60 years old, and the other, 60, who were found during the weekend in Montgomery County, said county Coroner Dr. Walter I. Hofman. Hofman declined to where they were fond.
In New Jersey, the Burlington County Medical Examiner's Office said heat contributed to the death of Perry Scutchings, 53, of Burlington City, whose body was discovered in his house about 8:30 p.m. Saturday by his girlfriend.
Yet another heat wave is due to start Thursday with uncomfortable conditions Friday, however it is not expected to match last week's ferocity, Kalkstein said.
Already, this has become the deadliest hot-weather season in Philadelphia since 2008, when heat was blamed for 26 deaths.
Hot weather was blamed for three other heat-related deaths occurred in the city before the most recent heat wave.
Philadelphia has gained an international reputation for its response to extreme heat, and it has been credited with holding down fatalities.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has hailed Philadelphia's heat-alert program, which includes activating a heat line and mobilizing block captains to look in on the elderly, as a "national model."
Inquirer staff writer Darran Simon contributed to this article.
Contact Anthony R. Wood at 610-761-8423 or email@example.com
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