Heat Wave Seeps Japan

Japan remained in the grip of a severe heat wave as the temperature in Shimanto, Kochi Prefecture, broke the national record of 41C.

The new high, logged at 1:42 p.m, on Monday, topped the previous record of 40.9 set in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, and Tajimi, Gifu Prefecture, in August 2007.

The heat is expected to continue for about a week amid sunny weather, officials said.

Among the Meteorological Agency’s 927 observation points across Japan, 185 logged highs above 35.

Nightfall has offered little relief. In the Otemachi business district in central Tokyo, the temperature stayed as high as 30.4 late into the evening Sunday, the agency said.

Atmospheric conditions became unstable Sunday afternoon in the Kanto-Koshin region, prompting the Meteorological Agency to issue an alert about possible tornados.

At least four people died Sunday of causes related to the hot weather, according to police and fire departments.

Around 8:50 a.m., an 80-year-old woman was found lying in her house in Arita, Wakayama Prefecture. She was transported to a hospital but was confirmed dead about an hour later.

The woman lived alone and did not use an air conditioner, firefighters said.

The Wakayama Local Meteorological Observatory reported a high of 38.5 degrees in the city of Wakayama. The previous record there was 38.1 degrees marked in 1994.

Sources used include BBC News and Japan Times.

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