Japan heat wave kills 57, sends 18,000 to hospitals in just one week

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The current Japan heat wave has been declared Natural Disaster after 57 people died, and more than 18,000 were taken to hospital within a week.

High temperatures have plagued Japan for weeks, and show little sign of stopping.

Japan heat wave kills 57 and sends more than 18,000 to hospitals in August 2019. Picture via Insider

57 people died and 18,347 people were taken to the hospital in the space of a single week as Japan grappled with a powerful heat wave.

The figures are for July 29 to August 4, and were released at the beginning of this week. They paint a bleak picture of how Japan is coping with its ongoing high temperatures.

Just over half of those hospitalized were aged 65 and older. It is common for the very old and very young to suffer badly under extreme temperatures.

The highest number of hospitalizations occurred in Tokyo, with more than 1,800 people hospitalized.

Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency told said that atmospheric high pressure led to the lengthy hot period. Temperatures climbed to 35°C (95°F) in Tokyo in the last week.

On Wednesday, temperatures reached 38.4°C (101°F) in Kumagaya, a city northwest of Tokyo, and 36.9°C (98.4°F) in Fukushima and Osaka. And this is going to last a few more days.

High temperatures have plagued Japan for weeks, resulting in scores of heat-related deaths this summer.

Last month, more than 80 people died in a heat wave where temperatures climbed above 40 C (104 F) in parts of the country.

Then temperatures reached a record 41.1°C (105.8°F), prompting Japan’s Meteorological Agency to issue a warning that the heat posed a “threat to life.”

The heat wave in Japan has now been recognized as a natural disaster.

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