A heat wave engulfs Japan
Japan is enduring one of its worst heat waves on record. Officials are urging people to keep their air-conditioners running to avoid heat stroke, though doing so could lead to potential power shortages.
Japan’s aging population is especially vulnerable to heat stroke and exhaustion, and officials have attributed a number of deaths to the heat.
Hospitalizations are also rising: Officials said that over 4,500 people with symptoms of heat stroke and exhaustion were taken to hospitals in ambulances in recent days, more than four times the number from the same period a year ago. Most patients were 65 or older.
Data: In Tokyo on Saturday, temperatures exceeded 95 degrees Fahrenheit — about 35 Celsius — for the eighth straight day. The capital has only seen such a streak once before since 1875, when record-keeping began.
Context: Japan is vulnerable to power blackouts in periods of high demand because it relies heavily on liquefied natural gas, which is hard to stockpile, and which has become more expensive since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
Source: The New York Times