Western US states swelter under heat wave
Temperatures close to the all-time high recorded on earth
People cool off in the Pacific ocean during the heat wave in Santa Monica, California. Photograph: Reuters
States in the west of the US are sweltering under an extended heat wave with temperatures close to the all-time high recorded on earth.
In the desert of Death Valley, California, temperatures approached 51C while in Phoenix, Arizona, the mercury hit 47C.
Temperatures in Death Valley are forecast to reach 53C over the weekend. The hottest air temperature ever recorded on Earth of 57C was marked there on July 10th, 1913.
The National Weather Service has issued a heat warning for several parts of the region, including Las Vegas, until Monday morning.
According to weather officials the extreme weather is caused by a high-pressure system stuck over the area.
Parts of five states including Colorado and Utah will see temperatures higher than 37C over the weekend.
Cities in the region are opening cooling centres and officials fear the heat could delay air travel.
The US Border Patrol is deploying extra personnel this weekend as the threat of exhaustion and dehydration rises for those attempting to cross the US-Mexico border illegally on foot.
At least seven migrants were found dead in Arizona’s desert last week in lower temperatures.