The death toll in an eight-day heatwave in Southern California rose to 25 as temperatures started to ebb from over 110 degrees Fahrenheit (more than 40 degrees Centigrade), the authorities said.
Temperatures have been particularly fierce in desert areas of the region, easing by only a few degrees at night.
The 25 victims range from 26 to 87 years old. The deaths are being treated as heat-related and autopsies will be carried out along with toxicology tests, coroners said.
Weeks are needed to complete the tests, they added.
The 26-year-old was found dead an hour after he separated from his friends while out riding his dirt bike Saturday.
The heatwave also killed an old couple who refused to switch on their air conditioner at the weekend in an attempt to save 50 dollars during the summer months by keeping the machine off, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The deaths were reported in four counties in Southern California.
Meanwhile, the authorities struggled to fix heatwave-related power shortages which left up to 64,000 homes without electricity.
"We felt like we were being tortured," said Matthew Lorenzen, 28, whose home lost power several times Saturday, Sunday and Monday. "It was just horrible -- lots of still, hot nights."
The three-digit temperatures are expected to ebb Wednesday. The National Weather Service said Wednesday's highs are expected to be as much as 20 degrees cooler than the day before
Last Mod: 06 Eylül 2007, 17:05