May 2015 – TOKYO, Japan – More than 430 people in Japan have been admitted to hospitals nationwide in a current heat wave in several regions of the country, Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) said Tuesday. FDMA, in charge of ambulance services, cites data between May 18 and 24. Cases of hospitalization because of heat were reported in Tokyo and Kyoto, as well as in the Saitama, Aichi, Fukushima and Fukuoka prefectures, among others. The temperature in some regions of Japan is predicted to rise above 30 degrees Celsius [86 Fahrenheit] on Tuesday, according to Japan Meteorological Agency. Experts warn about the dangers of outside overexposure and urge people to refrain from outdoor physical activity.
In May and June, a high probability of above-normal temperatures (above 40 degrees Celsius) on the islands of Okinawa and Amami is forecast. In April, an extraordinary warm air mass moved across parts of East Asia, bringing severe high temperatures to Japan. The temperatures in some of the country’s prefectures were reported to be record-breaking. During May 11-17 period, two people died and 480 were hospitalized in Japan for heat exhaustion, according to FDMA. Japanese authorities have expressed concern that high heat could affect scheduled 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo. The officials are considering introducing measures to deal with high temperatures, including stadium air conditioning and green space promotion.
Japan has a long history of struggling with heat waves. In 2011, 26 Japanese residents died of heatstroke in the first decade of June while nearly 13,000 were admitted to hospitals. In India, around 400 mostly homeless people have died due to heat wave last week, with the maximum temperature touching nearly 45 degrees Celsius. A senior weather official said that heat wave would continue in India for some more days and attributed the condition to an ongoing heat wave in Pakistan. –Interaksyon