Japan's June flames out with record heat - RTHK
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Japan's June flames out with record heat

2022-06-30 HKT 21:51
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  • Temperatures of nearly 40 Celsius were marked in some parts of greater Tokyo, home to 37 million people. Photo: AP
    Temperatures of nearly 40 Celsius were marked in some parts of greater Tokyo, home to 37 million people. Photo: AP
Japan's electricity grid creaked on Thursday under the strain of Tokyo's hottest June since records began, but a power crunch that could have deprived tens of millions of electricity was narrowly averted and authorities prepared to lift warnings.

Temperatures of nearly 40 Celsius were marked in some parts of greater Tokyo, home to 37 million people, on the sixth day of a heatwave that began after the earliest end to the capital's rainy season in decades.

Maximum highs are not forecast to drop to 30C before Tuesday.

But power outages were averted, despite the loss of output from a 600-megawatt plant even as generators feeding Tokyo worked up to carry their load with only about 3 percent reserve capacity, the level below which blackouts can occur.

Authorities said they would lift a warning of short power supplies that had been in effect for four straight days.

Some 105 people were taken to hospital with heatstroke on Thursday, the Tokyo Fire Department said. A man in his 50s died and a woman in her 50s was in critical condition.

Temperatures this month have been the highest since record-keeping began in 1875.

The temperature in central Tokyo was 36.4C at 1.00pm, while the town of Hatoyama, north of the capital, sweltered at 39.7C.

Some firms, such as auto parts maker Yorozu, are scaling back shifts to save power while others, like retailer Seven & i Holdings and tech giant Sony, have asked employees to save power by turning off lights and other devices.

Automaker Nissan Motor said it was operating generators at its Tochigi plant north of Tokyo from Wednesday to Friday, while calling on offices and factories to save energy.

SoftBank said it was easing up on air-conditioning, letting the temperature in its facilities rise to 26C from 25C. (Reuters)