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Heat Wave kills 30 in Japan

At least 30 people have died and as many as 10,000 have reportedly been hospitalized because of an intense heat wave that struck Japan one week after flooding killed more than 150.

Temperatures soared as high as 105 degrees in some areas of the nation as the days-long heat wave intensified, and thousands of citizens suffered from heat-related illnesses that required hospitalization, according to the Japan Times. Residents were urged to stay in air-conditioned buildings and hydrate properly to be safe during the heat wave, the report added.

The heat has made cleanup efforts from last week’s floods more difficult, as the warmest temperatures have been reported in some of the same prefectures that experienced the devastating deluge last week.

“There is no break in the Japanese heat wave in the near future,” said weather.com senior meteorologist Jon Erdman. “The same blocking high-pressure system responsible for the ongoing heat wave will remain anchored in place from the north Atlantic Ocean westward into Japan and northeast China, perhaps through the end of the month.”

The brutal heat has affected residents of all ages, though the elderly were the largest percentage of those sickened, the Japan Times also said. But one of the victims was a 6-year-old boy who died in Aichi Prefecture following a two-hour outdoor class in temperatures that reached 91 degrees, the report added.

“It’s really hot. All we can do is keep drinking water,” an Okayama resident told television station NHK, as reported by Reuters.

Deadly heat waves aren’t uncommon in Japan during the summer months; last year, 31 people died in stifling heat in July, Reuters also said. Even when the sun goes down, there’s little relief ahead for the country.

“In any heat wave, lingering heat overnight is a major contributor to heat-related fatalities, particularly among the elderly,” added Erdman. “The Japan Meteorological Agency expects overnight lows to fail to dip below 77 degrees in parts of southern Japan.”

Deadly heat has also gripped South Korea, where at least six people have succumbed to the sweltering weather, according to the Korea Herald.

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