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Searing temperatures claim dozens of lives in Tokyo as heatwave continues

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-08-08 09:22

People walk amid the scorching summer heat in Tokyo's Ginza district on July 29, 2019. [Photo/IC]

TOKYO -- At least 39 deaths in the Tokyo metropolitan area in the first six days of August were attributable to heat-related illnesses, as a heatwave continued to scorch wide swathes of Japan, local media reported Wednesday.

Of those who died due to heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke, the police said that more than 90 percent of them were aged between 40 and 90-years-old and had been indoors when they were taken ill.

In only one fatal case of heatstroke was an air-conditioner thought to have been in use, with police and other officials urging people to stay hydrated, use air-conditioning where possible and avoid direct contact with sunlight.

On Wednesday, temperatures continued to soar across many parts of Japan, with the mercury rising above the 35 C mark in numerous regions.

According to weather officials, in Ibaraki, Gunma, Tokyo and Osaka prefectures, the daytime high peaked at 37 C or more by 12:30 pm local time.

Looking ahead, officials said the searing temperatures coupled with moist air could lead to unstable atmospheric conditions over wide areas that could result in torrential rain in some regions.

They have warned people to be on alert for quickly changeable weather conditions, like scorching heat to heavy downpours, flash floods and gusty winds.

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