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Five more dead in Japan's heat wave

world Updated: Aug 17, 2007 20:24 IST

AFP
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Five more people were killed today as record-level summer temperatures scorched Japan, bringing the death toll from a heat wave to at least 33, officials said.

The sweaty weather has sent hundreds of people to hospitals and raised fears of an eventual power shortage, with Japan's largest nuclear power plant shut down since an earthquake last month.

At least 33 people have died this month in the heat wave, caused by high air pressure from the hot Pacific Ocean, according to a tally by public broadcaster NHK.

The mercury rose to 40.8 degrees Celsius in Gifu prefecture in central Japan in midafternoon today, a day after it soared to a domestic record of 40.