Oregon updates heat death ethnicities, ZIP codes
The late June extreme heat wave is now suspected of killing 115 people in Oregon, with most of the confirmed deaths in Multnomah County.
The three-day period between Saturday, June 26, and Monday, June 28 — when temperatures hit 116 degrees in Portland — was the second largest mass casualty event in state history.
The Office of State Medical Examiner updated its figures Friday, July 10. It said that 83 deaths were confirmed to be caused by hyperthermia, or having an abnormally high body temperature. Another 32 are pending further investigation, and four deaths included in preliminary counts have determined to have not been caused by the heat wave.
The release also includes ethnicities and ZIP code locations of the deceased.
The vast majority, 72, were white. four were Hispanic, two were African American/Black, one was American Indian, one was Pacific Islander, one was Asian, and two had no ethnicity listed.
The majority of the victims, 52, were male. Thirty-one were female.
The majority of the confirmed deaths, 54 or 65%, were in Multnomah County. The ZIP code with the highest number of deaths — six — is 97209 in Portland, which includes the Pearl District and parts of Nob Hill and Slabtown. That is different than the first release of ZIP code information, which listed four deaths in Lents as the highest. Four other Multnomah County ZIP codes had four deaths apiece.
The first news conference on the heat wave by any public official will be held at 12:30 p.m. Monday, July 12. Scheduled to appear are state Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps, Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen, and Fariborz Pakseresht, Director of Oregon's Department of Human Services.
Multnomah County has said it will release a report about those who died in the county next week without their names and addresses.
Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Portland Tribune and contributed to this story.
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