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5 dead, over 1,500 hospitalized due to heatstroke

26 Comments

Five people died and 1,525 were hospitalized for heatstroke on Saturday, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency reported.

Temperatures remained high across the nation for the seventh day in a row, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The highest temperature was 38.4 degrees in Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture. The mercury surpassed 35 degrees in more than 130 locations across the nation.

The Meteorological Agency said the heatwave is expected to continue at least until next Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency is urging elderly people to check that the setting on their air conditioning units have been changed from heating. A number of elderly people have been found dead due to heatstroke and authorities said the units were still on heating from last winter.

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26 Comments
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Are we going to be getting these updates daily?? Until people learn to stay in side during the afternoon, expect more deaths and more hospitalizations. Common sense, not rocket science.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Kids were still playing sports at school in the middle of the day yesterday. No common sense at all.

A number of elderly people have been found dead due to heatstroke and authorities said the units were still on heating from last winter.

Seriously?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are we going to be getting these updates daily??

Yes, it's a news website. One that apparently keeps a lot of curtain-twitchers happy.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Perhaps they need to start opening heat shelters like they do in NYC. Turn a school gym into a meeting place with AC, so that the elderly can go somewhere to talk with people away from the heat.

And even if people stay inside, without AC you can still expect deaths. With AC turned on backwards, you can expect even more.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

That's a good idea basroli! Social workers should visit those who they know are living alone and check their a/c setting for them. But that'll never happen either...

It's just sad to think how many more people have to die or get really sick until Japan as a whole changes how they view the summer heat and change how they prevent heatstroke.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's just sad to think how many more people have to die or get really sick until Japan as a whole changes how they view the summer heat and change how they prevent heatstroke.

They really need to listen to us more. Why do they ignore our advice? It's insane.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Really insane. How traditional Houses & Apartments kept them cool and alive.

And all without the modern conveniences that make corporations rich.

This is coming from one that has survived summers here only using a fan.

Man up guys and gals the summer here is not that bad, rather close to the ones we get back home.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Basroil, isn't that what shopping centers and community centers are for? There are plenty here. No need to to open schools on the weekend and crank the AC when it is already cranked in various places.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

tmarieJul. 29, 2012 - 01:11PM JST

isn't that what shopping centers and community centers are for? There are plenty here. No need to to open schools on the weekend and crank the AC when it is already cranked in various places.

Since when do you see old people chilling at a shopping center? You need to provide them something they actually care for. Whenever I see group activities here it is ALWAYS at a school, and the old folks love it.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@wipeout

They really need to listen to us more. Why do they ignore our advice? It's insane.

Are you referring to your advice or "westerner's" advice? Because, for example, statistically the U.S. has on average approximately 1,000 heat stroke related deaths annually -according to the CDC website. So, this occurrence is not native to Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Basroil, head to the massage chair dept and check out who is in them. I see plenty of old folks hanging out in malls and shops - and good for them! Better there than at home using more AC or using none at all and making themselves ill.

There are also community centers here that they attend. My gym is always full of older people hanging out, taking classes or just sitting and relaxing. Same for the library.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Shopping malls or gyms usually aren't located in walking distance from housing area - which means schools or gakudos are better for old folks to hang out at if there is a/c.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How about community-centres, etc there seems to be one every other block.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Shopping malls or gyms usually aren't located in walking distance from housing area - which means schools or gakudos are better for old folks to hang out at if there is a/c.

They are in my Japan. Which is why the old folks are always there. Good for them on getting out of the house and doing something.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Are you referring to your advice or "westerner's" advice?

Westerners like me. It's as if they think they know better than us.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

tmarieJul. 29, 2012 - 05:44PM JST

They are in my Japan.

Guess your Japan must be different than the one I am in. Schools in cities are typically within half a kilometer radius of the next school zone radius, where as I know many places further than 5km from any mall.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

If you want to see old folks enjoying themselves in Japan, get up and drive around at 5:00 am on a Sunday (or any other day)and see them out walking en masse.

Sadly I can guess what tomorrow's headline will be: "5 die and 1,500 taken to hospital for heat stroke."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have one large shopping mall 1km walk from my apartment, 4 schools within 3km walk each (in different directions), and the city hall/gym less than 5km -the community center is co-located there too. I think it's just a matter of where you live. Same Japan though. So not a bad idea for elderly to have such places to avoid heat-related illnesses.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A+

I guess you are in the sticks.

My son got library and a community-centre on the way to school. Not uncommon in bigger cities.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I guess you are in the sticks.

What does this mean? If it helps, I live in Tokyo.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Living in the sticks is a reference to living in the country-side.

Now Tokyo has a TON of cool spots from community centres, etc.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A+, I agree, it does depend on where you live. And that it's still the same Japan ;) I live in the outskirts of Tokyo and is kind "inaka" so shopping malls or community centers or gyms are a good drive away. Only supermarkets are in walking distance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My son plays at the local community center bit closer than the local library. We took that into account when choosing the school, emergency hospital, etc. He got a park less than 200 metres away.

Why can't more parents do as much.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Perhaps they need to start opening heat shelters like they do in NYC. Turn a school gym into a meeting place with AC, so that the elderly can go somewhere to talk with people away from the heat.

Great idea, but it'll never happen. Also with the electricity cutbacks, you can expect a lot more hospitalizations.

@wipeout

Although you do have in the states people being admitted to the hospital. when you compare that to Japan, Japan has more of a problem with AC than in the states. I WILL NOT DICTATE how Japan should stay cool, that for them to find the proper way, however, IMO you need to stay as cool as possible, PERIOD. I think the Japanese can do a lot better at this, but I always have to shake my head and wonder with all the technological advances, why is this a huge problem each year. As I said in a previous post, I went to Costco the other day and it felt like a "Greenhouse" was that really necessary? You know it's cooking outside and you go indoors to a place like Costco, thinking that it'll be a paradise in there only to be disappointed by heat that almost feels like the infernal you just left outside. The only real cool place inside there was the cooler where they keep the Fresh perishables fruits and veggies. I stayed in there for almost 30 min to cool down. Yes and I know some people in Japan don't like AC or get cold quickly, but it's much better to feel cold than to be burning hot, waking up in the hospital with an IV in your arm.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan equates prosperity with concrete. There is practically no intelligent urban planning, and massive amounts of energy is wasted by using improper building materials. It is quite possible to reduce the Japan summer heat with proper building. It seems that the rest of the world, including China, have to show Japan how it's done (http://pluris2010.civil.uminho.pt/Actas/PDF/Paper605.pdf)

AC is believed to be the most efficient cooling method. It is the most consumptive, that's all. Air is a heat insulator, its cooling and transferring takes a lot of energy, and it only works in isolated areas. One really should broaden one's mind in order to stay cool.

Keep the sunshine outside, don't block it with something that is inside (such as curtains), those can get pretty hot, and you don't want hot things inside. Reflective sheets that are glued to the windows are sold in 100円 shops, they reflect 90% of incoming energy (don't know if that's true, but a drop from 43℃ to 35℃ was quite evident). The straw mats hanging outside are also efficient.

Hot surfaces heat up a lot of air, so removing that heat via i.e. vaporization of water is very effective. Why use a hair dryer after the cold shower, wet hair it will dry up very fast and will cool the body at the same time. You put hokkairo on your back/neck/feet/armpits in winter, so put cold gel bags (wet towels) in there during summer. Showering even just legs is very efficient. Open windows, feel the direction of the wind and position your fans so that they don't stop the natural air flow, but increase and spread it.

And for next summer, get in shape, as muscle mass and iron constitution helps with the heat. I also use AC, but only at minimal power consumption because there are so many other ways to cool off.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think the Japanese can do a lot better at this, but I always have to shake my head and wonder with all the technological advances, why is this a huge problem each year.

Because it's hot every year.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

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