Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Japan summer heat wave blamed for 132 deaths

Monsters and Critics: Heat exhaustion has claimed 132 lives in Japan this summer, with 31,579 people hospitalized since May 31 as an intense heat wave engulfed the country, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. In July alone, 17,680 people were taken to hospital for heat exhaustion, of whom 94 died - both record highs for the month, the agency said.

'Statistics are moving at the worst pace since 2008 when our agency began to compile relevant data, so we want people to remain alert with late-summer heat expected to stay intense,' Kyodo News quoted an unnamed agency official as saying. Among those taken to hospital, 48 per cent were aged 65 or over, the agency said.

The Meteorological Agency said the heat wave continued to cover much of Japan due to a high-pressure system in the Pacific Ocean….

Satellite image of Japan, via NASA

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