A heatwave continued to bake parts of the US South today, taking the number of heat-linked deaths in Tennessee to at least five and buckling roads in Mississippi.
The temperature in Memphis hit at least 38 degrees Celsius - to Americans 100 degrees - again today, the fifth consecutive day of at least that temperature, as hot air blanketed the south-central portion of the United States. Yesterday's top reading in the city was 41 degrees celsius).
"This is unusual. Last summer we had two (heat-related deaths) all summer. This is five deaths over a six day period," Shelby County Medical Examiner Karen Chancellor said.
The heat-related deaths have involved people in homes with no air conditioning or those who have been active outdoors.
Temperatures were baking from the western Plains to the US East Coast. Yesterday thermometers registered above 38 celsius in parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Nebraska, Mississippi and Kansas.
Excessive heat warnings were issued for southwestern Tennessee, northern Mississippi, parts of western Arkansas and most of Missouri. Much of the rest of the South was under a heat advisory.
The blistering conditions buckled busy highways in Jackson and Vardaman, Mississippi, snarling traffic.