August 15, 2018

Japan declares heatwave a natural disaster as death toll soars to record high (Independent)

Japan declares heatwave a natural disaster as death toll soars to record high (Independent)

Japan’s weather agency has declared its deadly heatwave a natural disaster, as the extreme weather continued to break records in the country.

At least 65 people died in the week leading up to Sunday, the fire and disaster rescue agency said, making it the deadliest heatwave since Japan started collating records of such fatalities in 2008.

More than 22,000 people have been taken to hospital with heatstroke symptoms, again a record, making it “the worst ever for any week during summer”, an agency spokesman told the AFP news agency. It comes after the mercury rose above 41C for the first time in the country’s history, with 41.1C recorded on Monday in the city of Kumagaya, northwest of Tokyo.

And Tokyo’s metro area recorded a temperature above 40C for the first time since records began, with the city’s governor, Yuriko Koike, telling a news conference it was “like being in a sauna”. Read more

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