Japan swelters as heatwave prompts power crunch warning
The Japanese government warned Monday of a power outage if extreme heat hits the country, with temperature records toppling and Tokyo’s rainy season declared over on the earliest recorded date.
Residents in and around the capital have been asked to save energy, especially in the early evening.
Temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) are forecast in Tokyo all through Monday, and the mercury will not dip below 34 until Sunday, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).
“We ask the public to reduce energy consumption in the early evenings, when the reserve ratio drops,” Yoshihiko Isozaki, deputy chief of staff, told a regular news conference.
But he warned residents should do whatever it takes to stay cool and avoid heatstroke.
Normally, much of Japan would experience the rainy season at this time of year, but the JMA declared the season over on Monday in the Kanto region, home to Tokyo, and the adjacent Koshin area.
It was the earliest end of the season since records started in 1951 and 22 days earlier than usual.
The agency also announced an end to the rainy season in Tokai in central Japan and part of southern Kyushu, and said this year’s rainy season was the shortest on record in these areas and Kanto-Koshin.
On Sunday, the city of Isesaki in Gunma Prefecture north of Tokyo registered the highest temperature ever in Japan in June, at 40.2C.
“Immediately after the end of the rainy season, many people are not yet fully used to heat and are at greater risk of heat stroke,” the weather agency warned in a statement.
Asako Naruse, 58, was sightseeing in Ginza next to pedestrians with umbrellas for shade.
“Every year July and August are so hot, but it’s the first time I’ve felt such heat in June,” she told AFP.
“I’m from northern Japan, so these temperatures seem very extreme.”
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© 2022 AFP
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