Saturday 16 July 2011

Record numbers dying from heatstroke in Japan

North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy
Updated July 15, 2011 10:22:18

Cases of heatstroke in Japan have hit record levels as people switch off air conditioners in the summer heat to save power after the nuclear crisis.

At least 26 people have died this month alone.

The average temperature in Japan this summer is nearly 4 degrees Celsius higher than usual, with some centres sweltering in near 40C heat.

With power supplies cut because of the nuclear crisis triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, people are being urged to save power, including turning down air conditioners.

But the country's disaster management agency says that since the start of this month more than 13,000 people have been rushed to hospital because of heatstroke.

More than half of those needing care were over 65 years old.

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