Published: Tue, July 24, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Record heat broils Japan, prompting warnings

Record heat broils Japan, prompting warnings

Less than a month after flooding killed more than 200 people in western Japan, a heat wave has now brought unprecedented scorching temperatures, killing at least 30 people and sending thousands nationwide to hospitals.

More than 9,900 people were rushed to hospital during the week to mid-July, jumping from 2,700 in the previous week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Sunday.

According to Kyodo News, 11 people died on Saturday alone as temperatures in Tokyo rested around 99F on Monday.

Japan yesterday recorded its highest temperature ever as a deadly heat wave continued to grip a wide swath of the country, and South and North Korea.

Japan's summers are notoriously hot and humid, and hundreds of people die each year from heatstroke, particularly the elderly in the country's aging society.

The heat, due to a layering of two high-pressure systems over much of Japan, is expected to ease slightly this week but temperatures of around 33 are expected.

Average temperatures of 35C (95 F) will be reported each day through at least Thursday in inland locations. Numerous victims have been elderly people who live in places that have no air conditioning.

People shade themselves from the heat of the sun with umbrellas as they pass the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo Monday
Japanese heat wave pushes temperature to record

Meanwhile searing hot temperatures are forecast for parts of South Korea.

However, she did concede: "Our traditional wisdom is not enough to beat the heat like this, so we will be using cutting-edge technology".

The agency also advised residents to "take appropriate measures", including staying hydrated, avoiding direct sunlight and staying in air conditioned settings.

DuVerney said the Air Force has kept heat records at Yokota, a Pacific airlift hub, since 1948.

South Korea's highest-ever morning low was recorded in the city of Gangneung, where the temperature was 31°C at 6:45am.

Some areas of the country reached as high as 40.7 degrees Celsius, while in the ancient capital of Kyoto it peaked at 39.8 Celsius after days of temperatures at 38 degrees or more, a level unseen since record-keeping began.

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