Heatstroke kills 16, hospitalizes 10,900

Kyodo

Sixteen people died last week as the number of people taken to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke surged to 10,913, some 3.9 times that of the week before and the highest since data become available in 2008, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Wednesday.

Of the total, 4,247 were hospitalized, with 393 requiring stays of at least three weeks. By age bracket, 48.5 percent were 65 or older, the agency said in a preliminary report.

The week through Sunday saw several consecutive days with temperatures reaching 35 degrees after an early end to this year’s rainy season in most areas. The agency is warning people to keep well hydrated as the heat is expected to continue.

The tally — including 1,216 in Tokyo, 1,070 in Aichi Prefecture and 887 in Saitama Prefecture — brings the total for the first two weeks of July to 13,681, 4.8 times higher than in the same period last year.