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23 dead, 13,000 people hospitalized in week in Japan due to heat

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That's 23 too many.

Please stay hydrated and as cool as possible, friends.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Agree with Toasted, which it appears I will be doing this morning.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yeah, brutal heat out there. Be careful everyone.

55% are over 65s, so I hope the government can target older people and get the message out to them. People get weaker as they age, but we are also getting record average temperatures, meaning that coping mechanisms that may have worked for older people in previous heatwaves at lower temps are no longer enough. They, and indeed all of us, have to adjust to this new normal.

400 exhibited severe symptoms that required at least three weeks of treatment

I suppose its the way Japanese report things, but isn't it weird to say someone hospitalized last week "required at least three weeks of treatment"?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So, 55% were over 65. What about the other 45%? What's their problem? At the risk of many down-votes, I can't understand why so many people die when temps reach the mid-30'. I come from northern Australia where temps are much hotter and humid for longer periods of time, but deaths and hospitalisation are rare. What are Japanese people doing wrong that is putting so many in hospital and killing so many in normal summer temperatures?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I would like to see a breakdown of the ages of fatalities. Were they construction workers being forced to work outdoors through the day? Students practicing at school club in halls without aircon? Little kids being made to walk around in the heat during a day out with the fam?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Breaking news: People die

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

What are Japanese people doing wrong that is putting so many in hospital and killing so many in normal summer temperatures?

Overdressing. As soon as temperatures rise, people start covering up from head to toe including gloves, especially elderly women. Wrapping towels around their necks is imo the major culprit since the back of your neck is the hottest spot of the body e.g. marathon runners always put wet sponges first to their necks to cool down.

I'm living in Singapore where temperatues are 30C+ all year around and you never hear of fatalities or hospitalization as a result of the hot weather.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I can't understand why so many people die when temps reach the mid-30'. I come from northern Australia where temps are much hotter and humid for longer periods of time, but deaths and hospitalisation are rare

Yeah but for the rest of us, we don't go through life comparing every situation with dubious accounts of how it's all done better in Australia.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I come from northern Australia where temps are much hotter and humid for longer periods of time, but deaths and hospitalisation are rare.

This is not northern Australia, though.

Perhaps people react differently to exteremes throughout the world. Look at how many thousands died in France during the heatwave some 15 years back.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Agree with Frans, overdressing in hot weather is a recipe for disaster (Living in the Philippines). I should also point out that dressing up in hot weather is ideal IF it is a desert climate where the air is dry since sweat can quickly evaporate and keeps you cool from the sun whereas summers in tropical and temperate climates are generally humid which would steam you alive if you dressed up. A first aid tip I'd recommend is at the onset of heat exhaustion (confusion, light-headed feeling, etc) is to pour cold water on your head, nape and extremities.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If we don't stop global warming, this sort of thing will get much worse.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No one understands heatstroke otherwise they wouldn't make kids run around in inhumane conditions. Summer in Japan should be half working days. People don't cool off later either just take it and their bodies never get a break.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

@wipeout - Yeah but for the rest of us, we don't go through life comparing every situation with dubious accounts of how it's all done better in Australia.

It's not a comparison or a statement about things being done better in Australia. It is a question as to why so many people die in Japan in regular summer temps. Northern Australia is just a reference. There are many other countries as well. Another post mentions Singapore. The question is, why do so many Japanese people become ill and die when temps reach the mid-30's?

@Toasted Heretic - Perhaps people react differently to extremes throughout the world. Look at how many thousands died in France during the heatwave some 15 years back.

Yes, thousands did die in France during an extreme heat wave. However, hundreds die in Japan every year due to normal summer temperatures hence, my question. Why do so many Japanese die during normal summer temps in the low to mid thirties?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Please be careful. High heat is very dangerous for everyone.

My city in America is experiencing 41c temps with the heat index of 48c!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

To stimulate understanding of the situation for Japan as a bad year reference for heat management of population in 2003. In France:

heat killed about 15000 within 3 weeks

1200 were aged below 65 (8% or so)

very large majority of victims were old women (75)

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.inserm.fr/sites/default/files/2017-11/Inserm_RapportThematique_SurmortaliteCaniculeAout2003_RapportFinal.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwin-5ra8IPkAhUD2BoKHakKCrkQFjAAegQICRAC&usg=AOvVaw1KlNiYVD1Wr6yY4C-_OvBk

Even though Japanese population has now a percentage of old people (65) higher nowadays which can easily explain the numbers, it is the percentage of persons below 65 that is shocking. It means a good amount of active population is dying or getting real health issues too !

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Find these numbers surprising every year.  In hot countries like Singapore and other ASEAN places people survive just fine.  Why do the locals drop like flies the moment it gets hot?

Although frankly we see similar reports of people dying from the cold in winter too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is a question as to why so many people die in Japan in regular summer temps. Northern Australia is just a reference.

It's your personal recollection of what you think the situation is in Northern Australia. That's barely a reference at all.

The question is, why do so many Japanese people become ill and die when temps reach the mid-30's?

Another question would be, is it so many? To support that, you'd have to supply some statistics from a halfway reliable source.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Those aged 65 and older accounted for 54.9 percent of the total."

Because they were sweaters in this heat, and about five other layers besides.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

1glennToday 10:01 am JST

If we don't stop global warming, this sort of thing will get much worse.

Hahaha! Al Gore just called; he want's his year 2006 quote back!!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Deaths from heat, in Japan it's very important to do as is required from social norms.

i live in a rural area and everyday old farmers wearing several layers start working at lunch time when the sun is brutal. I've asked them why now? Its traditional they reply.

Cant fault that thinking.

Im now on first name basis with the local ambulance and fire departments, that's my tradition now.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The farmers I know get up at 4am and start working at 5am-the smart ones I guess...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I was thinking also about the clothes issues, among other. For people which experienced Singapore, Australia, and others countries which got hot and humid in summer :

What is the clothing mentality like ?

I mean when I think about the cool biz in Japan, I think it is kind of a joke : you are allowed to remove your necktie. What about allowing more summer like shoes, lighter material, looser shape, lighter color, ...

UK suggestion : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/fashion-and-style/11706486/What-men-should-wear-to-work-during-a-heatwave.html

What about aircon ?

It seems to me to be put quite strong and no fan added. The gap between inside and outside is kind of heavy which can be quite a tool on the body which have to adjust all the time.

What about building insulation ?

The insulation of lot a post war building is not so good. As soon as you cut the aircon/heater the outside temperature is running back in.

I would also be interested by the opinion living in old traditionnal japanese house. I get the feeling that the layered architecture was kind of efficient in insulating the building.

What about greenery ?

Greenery pedestrian pass are kind of a rarity. Stroll ones are easier to find but still not many. Same goes for park in business or commercial area.

What about city color ?

I think black colored area in Japan should be cut off.

What about asphalt / concrete ?

'Natural' material seems to me more appealing.

What about behavior (individual and corporate enforced one) ?

Do people (have to) get out in scorching heat or is there some special schedule or habit for hot weather (like the siesta) ?

What about public area ?

Is there lot of cool place where people can relax/nap/... for free provided and well-know ?

Or any idea you can come up with. Now there is city all around the world which are banding together to face climate change so sharing tips could be useful for everyone, there is always a chance of someone having some power on that matter browse by.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

FransToday 09:14 am JST

What are Japanese people doing wrong that is putting so many in hospital and killing so many in normal summer temperatures?

"Overdressing."

You just took the "fun" out of my fundoshi!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In regards to Northern Australia and Singapore, do they have winter? Or any thing resembling a changing of seasons? I think it’s a lot easier to adjust to the heat when it’s hot all year round. (Not only physically speaking, but also with building design, clothing, daily habits, etc.) If there’s only heat, it’s easy to focus.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Also you have many more really old people also you don't stop working when it gets hot also you have underground train which gets hot also you have many buildings together, That is why more pass away than in Northern Australia

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stay hydrated at the beginning of the day, and throughout the rest of the day, not when you feel thirsty. I remember when I traveled to Middle East, most stores closed between 1pm to 5pm.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is why more pass away than in Northern Australia

Again, we've had no figures on that.

But if we are merely counting number of deaths, the population of Queensland is just over 5 million, and the population of Northern Territory is less than a quarter of a million. We needn't even bother considering the sparsely populated northern half of Western Australia. The age distribution is also different between the two countries: 26% of Japanese are 65 years old or above; against 16% of Australians. If the 16% figure is approximately correct for Queensland (it was 13% in 2011)

https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Products/3235.0~2011~Main+Features~Queensland#PARALINK3

then there are around 900,000 people over 65 years of age. For Japan, it would be approximately 32,000,000.

Even allowing for the many other factors that would affect the figures, it's reasonable to expect to hear about fatalities more frequently than in a region where there are, let's see, 31 million fewer people in the higher-risk age group.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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