Heat wave grips Japan, killing more than 30 people, sending thousands in hospital

A six-years-old child is among the victims. Temperatures hit a peak of 40.7C. In Kyoto, it reached 39.8C. In the hardest-hit areas, 145 people were rushed to the hospital for suspected heatstroke.

Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – An exceptional heatwave in Japan has caused more than 30 deaths since 9 July with 10,000 people rushed to the hospital. Yesterday alone, 10 people died.

The heat, which peaked at 40.7C in central Japan on Wednesday, is making it life even more miserable for victims and rescuers caught by heavy rains that claimed the lives of at least 223 early this month.

Yesterday, temperatures hovered well above 35 Celsius in many areas of Japan. In Kyoto – one of the prefectures hit by rains – the heat reached 39.8C. In the capital, two days ago, rescue services had to respond to 3,000 emergency calls.

The government is issuing alerts for people to take preventive measures. The warning doesn’t regard exclusively the elders, but also students in schools. Yesterday, the Education Ministry instructed local education boards on how to prevent heatstroke. This comes after a six-years-old boy died whilst attending an outdoor class in Aichi prefecture.

The heat is making it more difficult for disaster victims and rescuers in areas devasted by the torrential rains earlier this month.

Yesterday alone, 145 people were taken to hospital for suspected heatstroke in Okayama, Hiroshima and Ehime prefectures.

Meanwhile, more than 4,500 people are still in evacuation centres and 26,000 households remains without water.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency warned pf extremely high temperatures for the next few days.