Heat victims soar to new July record

JIJI

People taken to hospitals by ambulance for apparent heatstroke soared to 21,060 in July, setting a monthly record, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said in a preliminary report Tuesday.

That surpassed the previous high of 17,963 set last July, according to statistics amassed since 2008. It was also the second-highest monthly total on record after 28,448 in August 2010.

For the week through Sunday, 6,891 people nationwide were taken to hospital by ambulance after suffering symptoms of heatstroke. Although down 2,164 from the preceding week’s 9,055, the total for the latest week is almost double the previous year’s figure of 3,400.

Fatalities numbered 10, down from 16 the previous week.

By prefecture, Tokyo accounted for the highest number people taken to hospitals with 515, followed by 427 in Saitama and 425 in Osaka.

People 65 or over accounted for 51.6 percent of the total, up 8.8 points from the previous week.