Japan heat wave kills 15, more than 8,000 rushed to hospital

Sweltering summer heat in Japan has left at least 15 people dead over the past week, while more than 8,000 others were rushed to hospital with heatstroke symptoms, official figures showed Tuesday. At least six people died on Saturday alone, when the state weather agency warned temperatures had topped 35 degrees Celsius, with dripping humidity in certain parts of the country.

Global warming is bringing more frequent and severe heat waves, and the result will be serious for vulnerable populations.

Dr Amanda Staudt, U.S.-based National Wildlife Federation climate scientist

Nearly 8,600 people were taken to the emergency room for heat-related symptoms in the week through Sunday, more than double the previous week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. The elderly were particularly vulnerable to the rising temperatures, with nearly half of those taken to hospital aged 65 or older, the agency data showed. The archipelago nation regularly experiences sweltering summer temperatures.