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Deadly heatwave kills people in Japan

Saturday 21/July/2018 - 09:00 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Hassanein Tayea
Reuters-An extreme heatwave that has hit in Japan has led to temperatures as high as 40C، with the casualties climbing up as more deaths were reported on Saturday.

The Japan Times reports that more than 10،000 people had been taken to hospital due to heat stroke related symptoms.

The death toll had climbed to 30، after 10 more deaths were reported on Thursday.

Some areas in central Japan registered record high temperatures of 40C، said the Japan Meteorological Agency.

On Friday، temperatures had reached a little above 35C، with the heatwave set to continue over the next few days.

The Tokyo Fire Department reported that، rescue teams responded to more than 3000 emergency calls as the temperatures soared to 40C and 317 people were taken to hospital.

Students involved in outdoor activities across the country were also affected by the rising temperatures and some were taken to hospital after they showed symptoms of heat stroke and exhaustion.

A six-year-old child died on Tuesday after participating in an outdoor class in school، which led the education ministry to urge educational institutions across the country to adopt preventive measures.

West Japan، still grappling with the devastating effects of torrential rains in the beginning of July، has now been hit by the high temperatures، which are hampering rescue and reconstruction efforts.

High temperatures also caused flight delays on Wednesday from Tokyo’s Haneda airport after one of the runway’s floor weakened due to heat and caved in، the Japanese transport ministry said.

“The actual total human toll may not ever be known as heat-related fatality reports are historically underdone since not all deaths are correctly attributed to heat and some result from accelerating serious health issues and the fatalities show up weeks later.

“The elderly and those with pre-existent conditions، such as asthma and heart failure، are likely to face declining health due to exacerbation of their conditions due to weather.

“Heat exhaustion and stroke، dehydration، migraines، loss of sleep and mood alteration can all occur due to dangerous heat.

“Historical data shows that more people are likely to be involved in vehicle crashes due to heat-related impacts، such as decreased ability to concentrate، the poor quality of sleep they get and impaired mood، etc.”

The heatwave in Japan is also reviving concerns about the Tokyo 2020 Olympics، which will be held during the country’s notoriously sweltering summer.

While the Games have been held in places that are hotter or more humid than Tokyo، including Athens and Beijing، Japan’s sweaty summers offer both blistering heat and smothering humidity in a particularly unpleasant، and sometimes deadly، combination.

Olympic officials and Tokyo’s local government are touting measures from solar-blocking paint on roads to mobile misting stations to tackle the heat.

But some experts fear the efforts are insufficient، in a country where summer heat kills hundreds of people and hospitalises tens of thousands each year.

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