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Heatstroke claimed record 187 lives in Tokyo's 23 wards in Aug.

People walk in the severe heat in front of JR Tokyo Station after noon on Aug. 11, 2020. (Mainichi/Naotsune Umemura)

TOKYO -- A record monthly high of 187 people in the Japanese capital's 23 wards died from heatstroke in August, preliminary figures disclosed Sept. 1 by the Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office to the Mainichi Shimbun show.

    The monthly figure is the highest for the 23 wards since the office began compiling statistics in 2007, well over the 137 deaths from heatstroke in the same area recorded in July 2010.

    By age, those in their 70s or older accounted for 82% of the 187 people who died from heatstroke this past August. Altogether, 85% of the victims either had not installed air conditioners or were not using them at their homes.

    As there were no fatalities from heatstroke in Tokyo's 23 wards this past July, an official at the medical examiner's office said it was possible the figures spiked in August due to the large difference in temperatures before and after the end of the rainy season around Aug. 1, and the daily heat thereafter.

    According to the Tokyo Fire Department, 4,250 people (a preliminary figure) were transported to hospitals by ambulances due to suspected heatstroke last month, a record high for the month of August. Of them, 217 people had developed severe or even worse conditions when they were rushed to medical institutions. People in their 60s and above accounted for 84% of these cases.

    (Japanese original by Marika Inomori and Kazuki Mogami, City News Department)

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