Record-high temperatures this summer caused at least 87 deaths from heat-related maladies and record-breaking downpours that triggered landslides across the country.
According to the Meteorological Agency, temperatures from Kyushu to the Kanto-Koshin region began climbing between July 6 and 8, when the rainy season ended unusually early. During the three-day period from July 10 to 12, the mercury exceeded 35 degrees at more than 100 of the 927 observation points across the country.
The heat wave subsided in late July but resumed on Aug. 7 — the first day of autumn under the lunar calendar — and continued for 16 days with temperatures above 35 degrees at more than 100 points.
The hottest day of the summer was Aug. 11, when temperatures in 297 places topped 35 degrees. On Aug. 12, the mercury hit its highest ever in Japan — 41 degrees — in Shimanto, Kochi Prefecture, which baked above 40 degrees for four days through Aug. 13.
In step with the elevated temperatures, the number of people hospitalized for heat stroke also rose. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said there were 87 deaths among the 54,000 treated for heat exhaustion in the three months from late May.