Extreme weather breaks 147-year-old Tokyo record
The Japanese government has urged people not to turn off air conditioners as Tokyo experiences the worst June heatwave since records began.
Newspaper Asahi Shimbun cited fire officials as saying that 80 people, aged 12 to 96, were hospitalized for suspected heat-related illnesses in Tokyo on Monday. Reports said that 76 more people were hospitalized on Tuesday.
Temperatures in the city reached 35.1 Celsius (95.18 Fahrenheit) by 1pm local time on Tuesday. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the heatwave will remain, with temperatures expected to peak in Tokyo at 36 Celsius (96.8 Fahrenheit) on Wednesday and Thursday.
The national record for the hottest day in June was broken on Saturday, when the temperature clocked in at 40.2 Celsius (104.36 Fahrenheit) in Isesaki, a city around 95 kilometers (51 miles) from Tokyo.
Despite the sweltering heat, the authorities urged people not to abandon efforts to conserve energy. They asked residents to turn off unnecessary lights and electronic devices on certain days and hours.
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda, nevertheless, encouraged people to use air conditioners.
“Apparently there are some elderly people who have turned off their air conditioners because we are asking people to save energy, but please – it’s this hot – don’t hesitate about cooling off,” Hagiuda said, as quoted by Reuters.