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High heat sends 11 people to hospital during Trump rally in Arizona

Extreme heat in Arizona sent 11 people to the hospital as they waited to attend a campaign rally with former President Donald Trump.

This week brought the first test of the year for millions of Americans in the Southwest, who routinely see high heat in the summer.

Temperatures were expected to reach 44 degrees Celsius in parts of Nevada, Texas and California on Thursday, reaching 121 degrees Celsius in California’s scorching Death Valley.

When Trump took the stage just after 5pm EST (10pm GMT) in Phoenix, the temperature was 111F.

Trump fans began lining up for the event early Thursday morning, in what was the first rally for the former president since his criminal conviction in a hush-money case in New York.

Several thousand people lined up outside the massive Phoenix Dream City Church on Thursday to see Trump speak.

Strict security measures meant that it took time to get everyone into the megachurch.

As temperatures reach 42 degrees Celsius, a woman suffers from heat exhaustion as supporters line up for former US President and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as he takes part in a town hall event in the Dream City in June Church in Phoenix, Arizona.  6, 2024As temperatures reach 42 degrees Celsius, a woman is prone to heat exhaustion as supporters line up for former US President and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as he participates in a town hall event at Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona, on June 6, 2024

Supporters of former President Donald Trump braved scorching temperatures ahead of his rally in Arizona on Thursday (Getty Images)

As supporters waited outside the campaign rally, BBC News saw several people being treated for heat-related problems and two taken to hospital.

A total of 11 attendees were taken to the hospital with heat-related symptoms, according to Phoenix Fire Department officials.

Firefighters were seen using ice to treat and cool others.

On Thursday – two weeks before summer officially begins – the National Weather Service (NWS) is predicting record temperatures in inland California and parts of Nevada and Arizona.

Phoenix is ​​under an excessive heat warning through Friday, asking people to limit time outdoors and stay hydrated.

Trump began a small campaign tour on Thursday, stopping in Phoenix, exactly a week after he was found guilty in New York.

The former president spoke for about 90 minutes before leaving for a fundraiser in San Francisco. He is then expected to hold a campaign event in Las Vegas on Sunday.

That city also has record temperatures. The predicted high of 112F in Las Vegas on Thursday would be the earliest 112F day ever observed in the city.

Temperatures are 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit above average for this time of year, according to the NWS, although they will cool slightly by the time Trump visits on Sunday.

The intense heat has left more than 30 million people in the southwestern region warned of dangerously high temperatures, with officials asking residents to take precautions.

Heat-related illnesses and even deaths are becoming increasingly common in Phoenix and the American Southwest.

Although heat domes were once described as rare, heat waves and heat domes are becoming more common and intense due to human-induced climate change, scientists say.

The world experienced 12 consecutive months of record high temperatures, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said earlier this week.

Last month was the warmest May in history.

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