6 die of heatstroke in Tokyo as Japan suffers extreme heatwave of over 40°C

The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued a heatstroke warning for Tokyo and 23 other prefectures.

Keyla Supharta | July 10, 2024, 05:23 PM



Six people have died from heatstroke in Tokyo, Japan, as the country experiences extreme heatwave, reported The Guardian.

Japan reported a record of over 40°C in Shizuoka prefecture on Jul. 7, while some prefectures like Nishinomaki, Gunma, Otsuki, and Yamanishi prefecture recorded temperatures above 39°C.

Comparable to natural disaster

The unprecedented heatwave in Japan has affected medical services and caused damage to public health comparable to that of a natural disaster, according to medical experts cited by The Guardian.

A weather agency told AFP that such extreme heatwaves in the middle of Japan's rainy season are uncommon, attributing the weather phenomenon to a strong South Pacific high-pressure system, reported CNA.

Japan's weather agency has encouraged people to refrain from going outside during the day as much as possible and to use air conditioning when indoors.

"Most severe" of heatstroke

The Japanese Association for Acute Medicine said it would add a fourth category to existing three-level classification of heatstroke severity, Mainichi reported.

The first level includes dizziness, profuse sweating, and muscle pain; the second level includes headaches, vomiting, and fatigue; the third level includes disturbance of consciousness and convulsive seizures.

The fourth level of heatstroke, labelled the "most severe", includes deep body temperature of 40°C or higher and an inability to communicate.

Death from heat exhaustion has risen in Japan, from a few hundred a year around two decades ago to around 1,500 in 2022.

As of Jul. 8, the Japan Meteorological Agency has issued a heatstroke warning for Tokyo and 23 other prefectures.

On the same day, a total of 86 people between 15 to 93 were hospitalised for suspected heatstroke, according to Tokyo Fire Department.

Top image via Daryan Shamkhali/Unsplash