Heat wave kills more than 50 in Japan, South Korea

Searing hot temperatures are forecast for wide swaths of Japan and South Korea in a long-running heat wave. The mercury is expected to reach 39 degrees Celsius (102 degre

A continuing heatwave in Japan has seen scorching temperatures reach as high as 40C, killing at least 30 people over the past two weeks.

The Greater Tokyo Area also set an all-time high temperature on Monday as the mercury climbed to 40.8 C (105.4 F).

The heat wave has lasted several weeks and comes from a ridge of high pressure over Japan, which remains stationary and draws warm air from the south.

Since 9 July, 40 people have died in Japan, and around 10 have died in South Korea.

A sizzling heatwave has struck Japan, resulting in local records in several parts of the country, including Tokyo, where thermometers logged 40.8 degrees - nearly reaching the country's previous record of 41.0 °C, set in August 2013 in Shimanto, Kochi Prefecture.

Late last week, a heat wave in Scandinavia resulted in new all-time high temperature records, over 90 degrees, as far north as inside the Arctic Circle.

The Tokyo Fire Department said 3,091 requests were made for ambulances in the capital on Sunday, the most for a single day since the department started emergency medical operations in 1963, reported Kyodo News.

People shade themselves from the heat of the sun with umbrellas as they pass the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo Monday
Japanese heat wave pushes temperature to record

In Saitama Prefecture, at least two elderly women died, including an 85-year-old who had told acquaintances she rarely used air conditioning, and a 72-year-old who was found collapsed in a room without the air conditioner on.

Meanwhile searing hot temperatures are forecast for parts of South Korea.

The agency also advised residents to "take appropriate measures", including staying hydrated, avoiding direct sunlight and staying in air conditioned settings.

Tourists in Tokyo's historic Asakusa district struggled with the heat.

The morning low in Seoul was 29.2°C, a record for the country's capital, according to South Korea's weather agency.

"It's hard to us because we don't have this heat in Mexico", she said.

About 1,040 people have fallen ill because of hot weather from May 20 to Saturday, an increase of 61 percent over the same period previous year, it said.

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