The sudden exit of the rainy season, coupled with a high-pressure system from the Pacific, caused a sudden rush of weather-related incidents across the nation over the weekend until Monday. Lightning strikes killed one man, the heat wave killed another, while a storm caused the death of three young people.
Three men in Tokyo who were seeking shelter under a tree near the Arakawa River were hit by lightning in a sudden strike on Monday afternoon. One of the men, still unidentified, died from the incident, while the other two escaped unharmed. A 53 year old woman in Saitama Prefecture who was working on her farm was knocked unconscious in a separate lightning strike a few hours later.
The Meteorological Agency said that most of the country is experiencing high temperatures due to the convection currents that caused a high-pressure system in the Pacific. This kind of weather arrived earlier than usual, signalling the premature ending of the rainy season in Japan. The weather agency warned people to stay hydrated and to use air conditioning as temperatures are expected to rise above 35 degrees in some places. The heat wave caused the death of a man from Ehime Prefecture while over 700 were hospitalized due to heat stroke.
Some areas in the north, the northeast and the Sea of Japan side of central Honshu are still experiencing rainy weather. A 15 year old boy drowned off the coast of Matsuyama, while a 10 year old girl who was trying to rescue her 4 year old brother who slipped into the Hida River were swept away and are believed to have died as well.
[via Japan Times]