New York heat wave kills four

A woman, who gave her name as Egypt, drinks water from melting ice being drained from a water vendor's icebox on Thursday, July 18, 2013 in Harlem, New York. The heat wave that hit New York last week killed four elderly people, the office of the city
A woman, who gave her name as Egypt, drinks water from melting ice being drained from a water vendor's icebox on Thursday, July 18, 2013 in Harlem, New York. The heat wave that hit New York last week killed four elderly people, the office of the city's chief medical examiner (OCME) said on Monday. -- FILE PHOTO: AP

NEW YORK CITY, New York (AFP) - The heat wave that hit New York last week killed four elderly people, the office of the city's chief medical examiner (OCME) said on Monday.

The four victims all succumbed to hyperthermia, which occurs when a body absorbs more heat than it can release.

Two women, 81 and 83, died of the condition on Saturday, a day after two men, aged 78 and 88, succumbed in similar circumstances.

The deaths came towards the end of a seven-day heat wave in which temperatures soared as high as 42.7 deg C.

The heat wave started to ease on Sunday and the peak temperature on Monday was a much more comfortable 27 deg C.