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Heatwave Kills Forty People As Japan Experiences Hottest Day On Record

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Heatwave Kills Forty People As Japan Experiences Hottest Day On Record

More than 40 people have died so far during a heatwave in Japan that produced the hottest day since records began today.

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Japan finds itself stuck in the grips of the deadly heatwave that saw temperatures rise to 41.1 degrees Celsius in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, about 40 miles from the capital, Tokyo.

The previous record of 41 degrees was set in 2013 in Ekawasaki, on the island of Shikoku.

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So far, the Daily Mail reports, the boiling weather has been hanging around for about two weeks as high pressure systems linger in the area, keeping warm and humid air trapped over the country.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Since 9 July, 40 people have died in Japan, and around 10 have died in South Korea. Many of the victims have been elderly people who live in places that have no air conditioning.

The authorities have advised that people should stay inside and stay where air con is available.

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On top of the deaths, thousands of Japanese people have been rushed to hospital suffering from heatstroke symptoms.

The governor of Tokyo spoke at a press conference for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which are due to begin two years from tomorrow.

Yuriko Koike said: "The weather recently in Japan is like being in a sauna,"

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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There has been some concern about whether it would be safe to hold the Olympics in this kind of weather. Koike said that these concerns would be addressed by moving certain events, such as the marathon, to start in the early morning to minimise the risk to both fans and athletes.

They've got other plans, such as trying to develop road surfaces that absorb and reflect less heat, and planting tall trees by the side of roads.

She was also keen to mention that there are more traditional Japanese ways of cooling down in extreme heat - these include spraying water onto roads and hanging straw screens.

However, she did concede: "Our traditional wisdom is not enough to beat the heat like this, so we will be using cutting-edge technology."

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

As Japan suffers in the heat, so does South Korea. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said that 10 people have died so far, with 7 of those in the last week.

They also said that there has been a 61 percent increase in people suffering with heat-related illnesses on the previous year.

In Gangneung, the mercury hit 31C at 6.45am recently, and the highest temperature recorded so far has been 39.9C.

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The heatwave is expected to continue until early August at least.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Weather, World News, Summer, heatwave, Japan, temperature

Tom Wood
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