TOKYO -- The number of heatstroke sufferers transported to hospitals across Japan in June hit a record high at 15,657.
The Mainichi Shimbun compiled preliminary weekly figures announced on July 5 by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications' Fire and Disaster Management Agency. According to the agency, heatstroke records for the month of June go back as far as 2010, and the number this year was far above the previous record at 6,980 in 2011. The surge in the figure is likely attributed to the extreme heat that struck the Japanese archipelago in June.
Among the 15,567 taken to hospitals, 17 were confirmed dead -- also a record high in June.
The number of people suffering from heatstroke who were sent to hospitals for the week up to July 3 was 14,353 -- about 3.2 times higher compared to the figure a week before at 4,551.
The agency is urging people to hydrate frequently and use air conditioners and fans to beat the unusually strong heat caused by the early end of the rainy season.
(Japanese original by Haruka Kobayashi, Tokyo Bureau)