Twelve people died and nearly 10,000 people were taken to hospitals for heat exhaustion or heatstroke during the week through last Sunday, as a heat wave continued to scorch wide areas of Japan, the government said Wednesday.

Temperatures soared to more than 35 degrees, with cities in central Japan seeing the highest levels this year at about 40, the weather agency said.

As intense heat is expected to continue, the Meteorological Agency has warned people to take precautions, such as drinking sufficient amounts of water.