Japan issues heatstroke alerts 

Tokyo, July 9:  Japan is grappling with a severe heatwave that has prompted the meteorological agency to issue heatstroke alerts across 26 out of 47 prefectures. The extreme heat has already resulted in four deaths and a surge in heatstroke-related hospitalizations, particularly affecting the elderly population.

Temperatures soared to 40°C in Shizuoka, marking the highest recorded temperature in the city’s history since records began in 1940. Over 240 other locations reported temperatures exceeding 35°C, categorizing them as “extremely hot” by official standards.

The elderly and young children are most vulnerable during such heatwaves, with more than half of the 2,276 heatstroke hospitalizations in late June involving individuals over 65 years old. Tragically, recent deaths include a man in his 70s found dead after yard work, and an 83-year-old woman who passed away after outdoor activities.

In response to the escalating crisis, authorities are urging residents to stay indoors, use air conditioning, and stay hydrated. The health ministry has noted a significant increase in heat stroke-related deaths over the years, highlighting the growing impact of climate change and global heating on Japan’s summer temperatures.

The situation remains critical as Japan braces for potentially higher temperatures throughout the summer, underscoring the urgent need for public awareness and protective measures against the dangers of extreme heat.