Japan issued a heatstroke warning for millions on Sunday as record high temperatures scorched the country as heavy rain battered other regions.
National Broadcaster NHK Warned In some places, including the capital Tokyo, temperatures soared to nearly 40 degrees Celsius, with onlookers reporting the heat was life-threatening.
“Please stay hydrated, use air conditioners appropriately, and refrain from trips that seem strenuous,” a news anchor said.
The government issued heatstroke alerts for 20 of the country’s 47 prefectures, mainly in the east and southwest, affecting millions of people.
Heat can kill by causing heat stroke, which damages the brain, kidneys, and other organs, but it can also cause other conditions, such as heart attacks or breathing problems.
The mercury in Kiryu city in Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo, hit 39.7 degrees Celsius, while Hachioji in western Tokyo hit 38.9 degrees Celsius, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Japan is 41.1 degrees Celsius, which was first recorded in Kumagaya city, Saitama, in 2018 and was later matched in Shizuoka, Hamamatsu city in 2020.
Some places experienced their hottest temperatures in more than four decades on Sunday, including Hirono town in Fukushima Prefecture at 37.3 degrees Celsius and the hot spring resort city of Nasushiobara at 35.4 degrees Celsius, according to weather agency data.
Meanwhile, the rain continued Hit northern JapanFlooding and at least one landslide was recorded.
A man was found dead in a submerged car in a rice field in Akita Prefecture, police said AFPA week after seven people were killed in similar weather in the southwest region of the country.
Since last weekend, heavy rains have brought record-breaking rainfall to parts of Japan, causing rivers to overflow and landslides to collapse the soil.
Japan experiences an annual rainy season, which often brings heavy rains that sometimes cause floods, landslides, and damage.
But scientists say climate change is increasing the risk of heavy rain in Japan and elsewhere because the warmer atmosphere holds more water.