TOKYO: An intense heatwave killed at least 14 people over a three-day long weekend in Japan, media reported on Tuesday, and high temperatures hampered the recovery in flood-hit areas where more than 200 people died last week.
Temperatures on Monday, a national holiday, surged above 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 Fahrenheit) in some inland areas and combined with high humidity to produce dangerous conditions, the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.
The capital Tokyo recorded a high of 34 Celsius on Monday. Temperatures in parts of western Japan hit by deadly floods reached a high of 34.3 Celsius by midday on Tuesday, creating dangerous conditions for military personnel and volunteers clearing mud and debris.
“It’s really hot. All we can do is keep drinking water,” one man in Okayama told NHK television. Temperatures of 35 or above–known in Japanese as “intensely hot days”–were recorded at 200 locations around Japan on Sunday, the JMA said, which is unusual for July but not unprecedented.
The current heatwave was due to the layering of two high pressure systems over much of Japan and is expected to continue for the rest of the week if not longer, the JMA said.
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