SAPPORO – Temperatures in Japan’s northernmost prefecture, Hokkaido, recently soared, with Sapporo registering 35 degrees Celsius on July 19, just weeks before the Olympic marathon took place on the streets of the prefectural capital.
On July 19, temperatures at 11 of 173 observation points in Hokkaido reached 35 ° C or more, defined by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) as an “extremely hot day.” In Sapporo, it was the first 35C + day in 21 years.
In Shimizu town, two 90-year-old women were found collapsed outside and were later confirmed to be dead. Heat stroke is believed to be the cause of their death.
According to the JMA regional headquarters in Sapporo, the highest temperatures on July 19 in the prefecture were 35.7 C in Kamifurano town, followed by 35.5 C in Hidaka town and 35.4 C in the city of Ashibetsu and the cities of Shintoku and Ashoro. .
In Sapporo on July 19, nine people with heat stroke were hospitalized at 5 p.m. This summer, until July 18, 104 people had been transferred to hospital, more than five times more than during the same period last year. , and the Sapporo Fire Bureau is warning people to take action to prevent heatstroke.
The International Olympic Committee has decided to move the marathon races to Sapporo, more than 800 kilometers north of Tokyo, amid concerns over the heat in the Japanese capital. The women’s marathon will take place on Saturday August 7 while the men’s race will take place the next day.
(Japanese original by Hiroaki Kishikawa and Junichi Tsuchiya, Hokkaido News Department)