At least 17 dead over weekend in South Korea heatwave

Seoul, Jul 31 (EFE).- At least 17 people died over the weekend in South Korea’s ongoing heatwave, according to authorities on Monday.

Temperatures have recently hit 35 degrees Celsius in much of the country, and the deaths over the weekend were reportedly mostly of elderly farmers working outside.

The 17 deaths were reported by Yonhap news agency citing data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency and nationwide fire authorities.

Seven elderly farmers died in the hardest hit North Gyeongsang province alone, it said, including a man in his 60s who collapsed while walking along a farmland path, and two farmers in their 80s.

In South Gyeongsang province, two farmers in their 80s and a woman also in her 80s died while working outside, it added.

In South Chungcheong province, a 60-something person died of heatstroke while weeding a grave, and a 90-something farmer died.

Other provinces also recorded heat-related deaths and all those who died had high body temperatures when they were found, the authorities said.

In addition, 73 people suffered heat-related illnesses as of 4pm Sunday, according to Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

The national weather agency has warned that the heatwave is expected to continue for days to come and that the mercury could rise by more than two degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Authorities have also warned of the possibility of power outages due to increased electricity use.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Japan, the national meteorological agency has for days maintained an alert for high temperatures for almost the entire archipelago, with special emphasis on the Tokyo area and its surroundings and the west of the country.

By 11am on Monday, the mercury had hit 37.7C in Hatoyama town in Saitama prefecture, near Tokyo, 37.1C in Date City in Fukushima prefecture, and 35.1C in central Tokyo, public broadcaster NHK reported. EFE


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