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article imageHeatwave in Japan kills 57 in one week with 18,000 hospitalized

By Karen Graham     Aug 6, 2019 in Environment
Tokyo - Fifty-seven people died due to heat-related medical issues in Japan over the week starting July 29, the government said Tuesday, with the number of those taken to hospitals more than tripling from the previous week's 5,664 to 18,347.
August is the hottest month in Japan, with the average temperature in Tokyo hitting 79°F (26°C), while the coldest month is January at 41°F (5°C). However, in Tokyo on Tuesday morning at 9 a.m., the temperature was 32.5 C (90.5°F).
According to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, this week's figures of those sent to hospitals was the second-highest since heat-related injury tallies began in 2008, according to the Japan Times.
Senior citizens accounted for over half of the total number of heat-related illnesses, with 729 exhibiting severe symptoms that will require more than three weeks of treatment, health officials said. Tokyo had the largest number of hospitalizations, with 1,857, followed by 1,342 in Aichi and 1,307 in Saitama prefectures. Deaths were reported across 24 prefectures, with seven in Hokkaido in northern Japan.
Japan Meteorological Agency
In Tokyo, an 8:30 a.m. power outage left eight trains stranded on the tracks between stations, forcing the Keikyu Corporation, which owns the train system to resort to backup power, however, they could not use this to run the air-conditioning system in the train cars.
“An announcement told us to open the windows, and passengers worked together to do so. After we exited onto the tracks, I felt scared when I saw people being taken away on stretchers,” said a 54-year-old woman who had been on one of the suspended trains.
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