Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency said that since May 27, around 39,944 people have been hospitalized for heatstroke this summer as the unrelenting heatwave has spread across the country. 78 deaths have also been credited to the extremely hot weather, most of them elderly people.
The heatstroke statistics for this year is 30% more than the same period from last year. More than 50% of those who were hospitalized were aged 65 and older, as their advanced age puts them at higher risk for heat stroke. Their impaired skin integrity also keeps them from properly regulating their body temperatures. The heatwave which started last week caused the number to dramatically increase, as 9,815 people were hospitalized since Monday last week. The Japan Meteorological Agency said that the public should expect this kind of weather to go on until the end of next week. They have already issued heat warnings for 38 out of 47 prefectures, advising people to always keep hydrated and to stay indoors with air-conditioning as much as possible.
On Monday afternoon, Japan’s highest-ever temperature was recorded at 1:42PM in Shimanto City in Kochi Prefecture, recording at 41.0 degrees celsius. This beat the previous high of 40.9 degrees celsius recorded in August of 2007. The heatwave is being attributed to southerly winds that are funneled by a Pacific high pressure system. This has also been affecting other countries in North Asia, including China and South Korea. If you want to get away from the heat, best head to Hokkaido, which has been spared the heatwave or better yet, go to Kushiro, which is the coolest place to be this summer, with temperatures not going higher than 25 degrees.
[image via Shutterstock]