Quantcast

Japan's Record-Breaking Heatwave Declared Natural Disaster, 80 Dead

Climate
A man wipes perspiration from his head in Tokyo on July 24, 2018, as Japan suffers from a heatwave. Martin Bureau / Getty Images

Hot, dry and fiery conditions are being seen by many parts of the globe right now. This includes Japan, where the nation's meteorological agency just declared the extreme heat a "natural disaster."


An agency spokesman said that "unprecedented levels of heat" were being felt, as quoted by AFP.

The city of Kumagaya, located about 40 miles northwest of Tokyo, even broke the country's all-time record when it reached 106 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday. The previous record was 105.8 degrees, set on Aug. 12, 2013 in the town of Ekawasaki.

The ongoing heatwave "is fatal, and we recognize it as a natural disaster," the weather agency spokesman added.

Preliminary government data shows that the heatwave caused 65 deaths from July 16-22. Another 22,647 people were also sent to hospitals with heat stroke symptoms. Both of the figures are the highest for one week since record-keeping began in 2008, according to the Asahi Shimbun.

As of Tuesday, Fire and Disaster Management Agency said a total of 80 people have died from the heat since the beginning of July, and more than 35,000 have been hospitalized, AFP reported.

Japan's meteorological agency expects that temperatures will continue to be 95 degrees and higher into August, USA TODAY reported. Officials advised people to stay hydrated, stay indoors, use air conditioning and avoid direct sunlight.

The sweltering conditions come not long after historic flooding and mudslides killed more than 220 people in western and central Japan.

As EcoWatch previously mentioned, that weather disaster fell in line with government predictions for the impact of climate change on Japan. A 2012 report found that global warming could increase the risk of flooding and landslide disasters due to heavy rain.

"I've felt the seasons change about 20 days earlier than usual, and the rainy season also ended much earlier. It must be global warming," a Japanese woman commented to AFP's cameras.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less