OMG! Japanese Heatwave Pushes Temperature to Record

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A businessman wipes his face while walking on a street during a heatwave in Tokyo
A businessman wipes his face while walking on a street during a heatwave in Tokyo, Japan July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato
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TOKYO (Reuters)

The temperature rose to a record 41.1 Celsius (106 Fahrenheit) in a city northwest of Tokyo on Monday, as a heatwave in Japan that has killed at least 23 people and sent thousands to hospital showed no sign of significant easing

The temperature was recorded in Kumagaya, in Saitama prefecture, topping the previous high of 41C in the western prefecture of Kochi in August 2013, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

 

A temperature indicator measures 41.0 degrees Celsius in Kumagaya
A temperature indicator measures 41.0 degrees Celsius in Kumagaya, north of Tokyo, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo July 23. 2018. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

 

Records go back to varying dates for different cities, with data for Kumagaya starting in 1896.

Japan has been battered by intense heat for close to two weeks but the mercury soared on Monday, breaking above 40 in one part of the broader Tokyo metropolitan area, while the centre of the capital marked a high of 39 in the early afternoon.

 

 

According to the Fire and Defence Management Agency, which issues weekly data, 12 people had died from the heat as of July 15, the latest available figures. Media reports say at least 11 more died this past Saturday alone, while thousands have been taken to hospital.

Among the dead was a primary school boy who collapsed after a field trip to a park 20 minutes’ walk from his school.

 

A woman wearing a Yukata, or summer kimono, splashes water onto the hot asphalt in an old Japanese tradition called Uchimizu ritual in Tokyo
A woman wearing a Yukata, or summer kimono, splashes water onto the hot asphalt in an old Japanese tradition called Uchimizu ritual, meant to cool down the air as the water evaporates, outside a pachinko game parlor in Tokyo July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

 

Temperatures in the ancient capital of Kyoto marked a record last week of seven straight days above 38 degrees, hitting 39.8 on July 19, and prompting the city to cancel one of its biggest annual tourist events, a parade for the Gion Matsuri, on Sunday.

With the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020, concern has risen about the safety of athletes and spectators.

The heat, due to a layering of two high pressure systems over much of Japan, is expected to ease slightly this week but temperatures of around 33 are expected.

 

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim and Elaine Lies; Editing by Nick Macfie)

 

A kimono-clad woman using a sun umbrella walks on a street during a heatwave in Tokyo
A kimono-clad woman using a sun umbrella walks on a street during a heatwave in Tokyo, Japan July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

 

Passersby walk on a street during a heatwave in Tokyo
Passersby walk on a street during a heatwave in Tokyo, Japan July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

 

A businessman walks on a street in a heat haze during a heatwave in Tokyo
A businessman walks on a street in a heat haze during a heatwave in Tokyo, Japan July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato