Historic, deadly heat wave slams Japan with blistering temperatures headed into August

Posted by On 10:29 AM

Historic, deadly heat wave slams Japan with blistering temperatures headed into August

Historic, deadly heat wave slams Japan with blistering temperatures headed into August

Japanese officials classified the country's historic heat wave as a natural disaster, warning citizens Tuesday to stay inside and avoid life-threatening temperatures of 104 degrees in some areas.

At least 65 people have died in the blistering heat since early July, but the actual figure is thought to be much higher.

“AccuWeather estimates the death toll from the Japan heat wave is likely already in the hundreds despite the official toll, and we predict the number will climb into the thousands before the heat wave ends,” said Joel Myers, the company's president and founder.

More than 22,000 people have been taken to hospitals with heat-stroke symptoms, Japanese officials said. In the city of Kumagaya, temperatures soared to 106 degrees on Monday, th e highest temperature ever reported in the country and nearly 12 degrees hotter than average July temperatures. In Tokyo, the heat reached 104 degrees.

Temperatures dipped Tuesday in Tokyo, peaking at 91 degrees in the afternoon.

"We are observing unprecedented levels of heat in some areas," weather agency spokesman Motoaki Takekawa said, according to the BBC.

Officials are especially concerned about children because less than half of Japan's public schools have air conditioning. Summer break from school may be extended to keep children from overheated conditions, Yoshihide Suga, a government spokesman, said in a news conference Tuesday.

"As a record heat wave continues to blanket the country, urgent measures are required to protect the lives of schoolchildren," he said.

Organizers had to cancel Kyoto's Hanagasa Junku parade Tuesday, famous for its large, floral floats. More than 300 children and elderly people had be en expected. The parade is part of the larger Gion Festival, which has already seen an estimated 55,000 fewer attendees compared with the year before, Japan Forward reported.

The Japan Meteorological Agency predicts temperatures will continue to be 95 degrees and higher into August. It advised people to drink plenty of water, avoid direct sunlight and use air conditioning.

Heat can lead to spikes in conditions such as asthma and heart failure, Myers said. He added that injuries and deaths in car accidents also increase as people face loss of concentration and lack of sleep.

Nearly half of those admitted to hospitals with heat stroke are elderly. Older populations are more vulnerable to dehydration and heat exhaustion, according to AccuWeather.

Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2LvLm3kSource: Google News Japan | Netizen 24 Japan

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