A total of 859 people were hospitalized due to heatstroke on Wednesday, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency reported Thursday. Temperatures in many parts of the nation topped 35 degrees. The agency said that 87 people were taken to hospital in Tokyo, 76 in Saitama, 72 in Kanagawa, 62 in Aichi, 55 in Ibaraki, 34 in Chiba, 20 in Gunma and 10 in Tochigi.
NHK reported that in Yokohama, 35 people had to be taken to hospital after falling ill while waiting outside for several hours to attend a book-signing event by an actor. It also reported that two people died of probable heatstroke. One was a 71-year-old woman from Chiba who was found in her home, with the air conditioning turned off, and the other was an 81-year-old woman from Namegata in Ibaraki Prefecture, who collapsed while working in a rice field. Three other heatstroke victims are yet to regain consciousness.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the hottest place in Japan on Wednesday was Gunma Prefecture where temperatures soared to 38.7 degrees Celsius. The temperature exceeded 35 degrees Celsius at 151 points, including spots in Hokkaido, Aomori and Okinawa. The 36.6 degree peak recorded in Fukushima Prefecture and the high of 34.2 registered in Aomori both match the highest ever recorded temperatures in those prefectures, said the agency. The 35.4 degrees Celsius in Iwate Prefecture was a record for August.
The Meteorological Agency warns that the heat wave is expected to continue for the next few days and is urging people to take safeguards against heatstroke, by drinking plenty of water, sleeping on a wet pillow and using the air conditioner, if necessary.
The recent run of exceptionally hot days is being caused by a high atmospheric pressure over the Pacific Ocean.© Japan Today