Mercury soared to 41.1 Â° C on Monday in a city in central Japan, on par with the highest temperature on record in the country in 2018, as a heat wave continued to engulf large areas, killing people and sending people to hospitals.
Temperatures in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka prefecture, reached 41.1 Â° C after recording 40.9 Â° C on Sunday afternoon, as residents of the country sought to combat the summer heat amid the pandemic of coronavirus despite wearing face masks. The weather agency also warned that the heat is expected to stay.
People wearing face masks amid the novel coronavirus pandemic walk in the sunshine in Hamamatsu, central Japan, August 17, 2020 (Kyodo)
Temperatures have risen rapidly in recent days over fears that wearing a mask to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus could lead to heat-related incidents such as heat exhaustion.
In Hamamatsu, a 50-year-old woman said, âI am even hotter when I wear a mask. Another woman in her 60s said, “I’ve lived in this city for a long time, but it’s the first time it’s been this hot.”
Yuko Ishigami, a 38-year-old housewife visiting Hamamatsu from Shizuoka City, said, âIt’s like a hot wind is blowing.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency has warned the public to take preventative action against heat-related illnesses as the scorching heat is expected to continue for some time, with large areas of Japan likely to see mercury rise to 38 Â° C on Tuesday. .
On Monday, temperatures exceeded 39 Â° C in cities in the prefectures of Nagano, Gifu, Nara, Kochi and Miyazaki, according to the agency.
Meanwhile, the mercury in central Tokyo reached 36.5 C and 37.1 C in Osaka, with temperatures exceeding 35 degrees for three and four consecutive days, respectively.
Of the country’s 921 vantage points, 655 locations saw mercury rise by more than 30 Â° C, of ââwhich 263 observed temperatures above 35 degrees. Record temperatures were also seen in 26 regions, including Hamamatsu, Sumoto, Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan, and Kanoya, Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan.
Japan has seen extraordinary heat in recent days, with temperatures in the cities of Isesaki and Kiryu in Gunma Prefecture reaching 40.5C last week. Mercury in other parts of Japan also eclipsed 39C on Sunday.
The mercury last reached 41.1 Â° C in July 2018 in Kumagaya town, Saitama prefecture, near Tokyo, eclipsing the previous high of 41.0 Â° C recorded in August 2013 in Shimanto, in Kochi Prefecture in western Japan.
The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said last Wednesday that 10 people died and 6,664 were rushed to hospitals during the week through August 9 due to heatstroke or heat exhaustion.
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