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Since mid-July, record-breaking, triple-digit temperatures in California have caused at least 132 deaths, killed more than 25,000 cattle and 700,000 poultry, and destroyed crops.
The high number of heat-related deaths is forcing morgues to take extra measures, as coroners are having to double-stack bodies due to limited space.
Six counties have declared a state of emergency because of the amount of dead cattle. Due to the extraordinary circumstances, the Department of Food and Agriculture is now allowing the disposal of dead livestock in landfills, which it normally bans. The cost to cattle owners is so far around $50 million.
Larry Collar, a manager of California Dairies, said, “It is just a bad, bad situation. In 25 years in Southern California, this is the most extreme temperatures we have ever seen and the most extreme length of time we have seen.”
Sources: AFP; New York Times