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4 dead, more than 900 hospitalized for heatstroke

28 Comments

Four people died and 916 were hospitalized for heatstroke as a searing heatwave took its toll across Japan on Thursday, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency reported.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said that the temperature topped 30 degrees in 682 locations nationwide, and surpassed 35 degrees in 111 locations. Thursday's highest temperature was 38 degrees in Tajimi, Gifu Prefecture. The mercury rose to 37.8 in Mie Prefecture, 37.5 in Shizuoka and 35.4 in Tokyo.

The four deaths were reported in Hyogo (1), Saitama (1) and Yamaguchi (2) prefectures, Sankei Shimbun reported.

The Meteorological Agency said the heatwave is expected to continue through next week and forecast higher temperatures than average for August and September.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency is urging people to drink plenty of water, increase their intake of salt, make sure their rooms are well ventilated and use air conditioning.

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The Fire and Disaster Management Agency is urging people to drink plenty of water, increase their intake of salt, make sure their rooms are well ventilated and use air conditioning.

There you go - even the Fire and Disaster Mgt Agency says to use the a/c so use it people!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

How? Why? What are these people doing?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

According to FNN, the four who died are elderly folks who were working outside :(

3 ( +3 / -0 )

People were dying and suffering from heatstrokes even before there were doubts about using air conditioning. Comments like that are just blind propaganda from the nuclear village and will not prevent further heat strokes simply because most people get heat strokes when being exposed to outside air, where using a/c is meaningless.

Anyway, a/c is much like computing: everything is just fine until you open windows.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Yesterday I biked to work. In my travels I saw JHS clubs outside, numerous elderly people working in the rice fields and small kids without hats and drinks. It is like this country has a suicide mission sometimes. It isn't rocket science to stay out of the sun, drink fluids and take it easy.

I get that the old folks want to look after their rice but is their life worth it??

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Anyway, a/c is much like computing: everything is just fine until you open windows.

Great comment.

Note: You only need to use a Mac on rainy days.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Same story every year. Elderly, venerable wise person goes out working in a field in the middle of the day without a bottle of water. Then dies. And we all have to pretend it's a tragic accident, rather than rank idiocy. An apron doesn't keep you alive.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

DoLittleBeLateJul. 27, 2012 - 08:05AM JST

People were dying and suffering from heatstrokes even before there were doubts about using air conditioning.

Yet every year elderly die in their homes because they don't want to turn it on. It's not new news, simply that this year you are giving them a "reason" not to turn it on.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

The four who died were working outside but you CAN get heatstroke from being indoors as well. Japanese houses have very little insulation. Just because you have the windows open and drink water doesn't mean you won't suffer from heatstroke. If you must be outside, there has to be somewhere cool to take a break. Going from hot outdoors to hot indoors doesn't help at all. So turn on the a/c where your body can cool off.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If humanity has become so frail that it cannot live without air-condition or so unintelligent that it does not understand to seek shade from the mid-day heat or cool itself with water, then I suspect mother nature will have limited patience, and in the time scale with which she works, make short process of the species of homo sapiens.

Not speaking specifically about the 4/900 here, but directing this rather to the astro-turfers who preach that without nuclear there will be no AC and without AC we are all going to die a horrible scorching death. (Not even bothering with the obvious fallacies of such a statement).

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

this year you are giving them a "reason" not to turn it on.

I can assure you they will not care what I have to say. If there is a reason not to turn it on, something else gave it to them. Perhaps one reason was that they were working outside!

Anyway, Japanese are so dependent on a/c it is incomprehensible. A little study on heat transfer would go a long way (away from pathological dependence on a/c, that is).

1 ( +5 / -4 )

DoLittleBeLateJul. 27, 2012 - 12:07PM JST

I can assure you they will not care what I have to say. If there is a reason not to turn it on, something else gave it to them. Perhaps one reason was that they were working outside!

Those are the ones they found already. Every year you have dozens more dying and nobody figures it out until the body has started to decompose. Those that get heat stroke indoors are the most unfortunate, people usually figure it out only far too late.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

They dont say anything about time. They need to let people know when they should find cover. I keep hearing about people going hiking and mountain climbing around noon, the hottest time of the day. When i tell they should go later or earlier and to avoid the sun being directly on top of you and they just smirk like its nothing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And, it's even hotter today. Are these people stupid? I have been out and about all day, but I don't have heatstroke. Two little words that seem to absent from the Japanese vocabulary, common sense.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Saw on FNN earlier that they found a 72 year old dead in her apt. The windows were open and she had the fan on but she had died of apparent heatstroke...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Disillusioned Exactly. From a people who are so fond of the word 'abunai'. I can remember my Japanese colleagues recoiling in terror when I told them I was going to South Africa ( the media as usual telling its horror stories ) and yet seemed to be perfectly happy for the mother of their beloved children to transport them around narrow streets on a bicycle without a helmet to protect their delicate skulls. It makes about as much sense as preparing mochi for your granny.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ms. AlexanderJul. 27, 2012 - 03:56PM JST

Saw on FNN earlier that they found a 72 year old dead in her apt. The windows were open and she had the fan on but she had died of apparent heatstroke...

Probably the one in Hokkaido. Yes, even the coldest place in Japan is hot enough this to happen.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

SquidBertJul. 27, 2012 - 12:03PM JST

If humanity has become so frail that it cannot live without air-condition or so unintelligent that it does not understand to seek shade from the mid-day heat or cool itself with water, then I suspect mother nature will have limited patience, and in the time scale with which she works, make short process of the species of homo sapiens.

Well, humanity never lived as far from water and shade as it does now, especially in Japan. Even Tokyo used to have plenty of parks and rivers, but they built over the rivers and polluted the rest, and got rid of the trees for dirt playgrounds and buildings. If you live far from the cities, sure there's plenty of places you can go in the heat and relax without worry (mountain streams are amazing for a hot day, feels 10 degrees cooler and plenty of hydration), but the cities themselves are deathtraps. Even worse if you include the heat island effect.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Well, humanity never lived as far from water and shade as it does now,

People live in tents next to camels in eFFing Sahara for pucks sake. What's wrong with you?

How far away is your apartment for shade? How far away is your bathtub for a cool bath?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

basroil

Well, humanity never lived as far from water and shade as it does now, especially in Japan.

Huh, you goto be kidding me. There are plenty of hotter places on earth where people live quite well in hotter temperatures than this and with less shade and further from the water. And they survive quite well.

As for your statement about being far from the water, Japan is a small island it really isnt that far to water (the sea) and there are an abundance of rivers/streams. And as squidbert said ever heard of a cold bath. The problem is people not thinking nothing more nothing less. Maybe if people switched their brains on then this wouldnt happen.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Baroil,

but the cities themselves are deathtraps. Even worse if you include the heat island effect.

And do you know what a major contribution to this heat island effect is? -Airconditioning, I kid you not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_heat_island

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

If this is the bright future of our nuclear village, there is no hope.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Huh, you goto be kidding me. There are plenty of hotter places on earth where people live quite well in hotter temperatures than this and with less shade and further from the water. And they survive quite well.

Except when they die. Which they do. Heatstroke happens everywhere.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Wipeout,

Yes heatstroke does occur everywhere. My comment was actually directed at basroil and his ill advised comment.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

SquidBertJul. 27, 2012 - 05:22PM JST

And do you know what a major contribution to this heat island effect is? -Airconditioning, I kid you not.

An average medium sized AC used 4 hours (on, not idle) a day for a month would put out about 400kW total during that time. Average insolation in Japan is an average of 4 hours at 1kW/m^2, so if we assume 30% conversion to heat (from asphalt, etc) and just 10% coverage, we get almost four times more energy from solar irradiation alone than from every person having a AC to themselves. Those are lowball estimates for solar energy and highball ones for AC, more realistic numbers would be a much higher difference. And this doesn't include other major issues like lower temperature regulation due to wind change, vehicle exhaust, etc.

Interestingly, even a person perfectly still and using no excess energy would put out 70W, which would equal 50kW in the same month period. Assume 150W average including commuting, working, and sleeping (very low ball average) and suddenly people just being alive contributes to the effect at the same order of magnitude as AC.

AC is a tiny contribution, and the sun on dark stuff in cities is usually the largest contributor. Considering that people indoors have no alternative, take the AC, don't waste the energy needed to take you to the hospital.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

...put out about 400kW total during that time

Wrong.

... would equal 50kW in the same month period

Wrong.

A person perfectly still for a whole year or more, or only one second, would still put out 70 W (accepting your figure). The power, usually measured in watts, doesn't depend on the period. The energy output does depend on the period and that is measured in joules or kilowatt-hours or some other units of the same dimensions.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

StonecoldsobaJul. 28, 2012 - 09:45AM JST

kWh, the second stuff in kWh. Simple forgetting of the h, but considering you didn't bother checking the math, you are far more wrong

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Not to get off topic here but question to those bashing basroil - do you guys not use a/c at home?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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