Asia Minute: Northeast Asia Swelters in Summer Heat

Aug 7, 2015

Credit Guian Bolisay / Flickr

As we wrap up the first full week of August, it’s already been a hot summer across Hawai‘i. One example: the National Weather Service says Hilo either broke or tied ten separate high-temperature records earlier this summer. And while temperatures continue to hover around 90-degrees in many parts of the state, across the Pacific it’s even worse. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

95-degrees for six days in a row.  That’s what Tokyo’s been like this week.  It’s a record stretch for heat in the Japanese capital since temperatures started to be registered in 1875.  Japan’s government says more than two dozen people died from heat stroke last week alone….while nearly 12-thousand have been hospitalized because of recent high temperatures.

Korea extended a heat wave alert across most of the country Thursday….as temperatures in some locations approached 100-degrees Fahrenheit.  The dangers of excessive heat have news organizations publicizing tips to stay cool…some even listing public buildings that have air conditioning.

It’s already been a remarkably warm summer across northeast Asia.  Last month, Beijing saw its hottest day in 50 years---as the mercury soared to nearly a 105-degrees.

Shanghai sweltered through its hottest July since records started being kept 140 years ago.

This week a local T.V. reporter in Shanghai fried a piece of pork on the pavement…which led to a whole series of people trying that around the country and posting the results online.

The BBC posted the video of pork being cooked on a marble sidewalk.

But the health implications of the heat are so serious that the Chinese government issued what it called a level two heat emergency across nine provinces.