Dangerously hot weather continues across wide regions in Japan

Japanese weather officials are urging people to stay on high alert for heatstroke as extremely hot weather continues across Japan on Monday. Days of scorching temperatures have claimed the lives of several people.

The Meteorological Agency says the mercury on Sunday soared to 40 degrees Celsius in Shizuoka City in central Japan. It was the first time for temperatures to reach that level in the country this year.

The agency expects temperatures to approach 40 degrees across wide regions in western and eastern Japan.

A daytime high of 39 degrees is forecast for the cities of Kumagaya and Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture. Projections are 38 degrees for Shizuoka City, Kanagawa Prefecture's Odawara City, Gunma Prefecture's Maebashi City and Ibaraki Prefecture's Tsuchiura City.

Central Tokyo and Nagoya City are expected to have daytime highs of 37 degrees. The cities of Kagoshima, Takamatsu and Tsu are likely to experience 36 degrees.

The agency and the Environment Ministry have issued heatstroke alerts for 24 prefectures, including Tokyo, from the Kanto region to Okinawa. Officials say high temperatures and humidity levels will sharply raise the risk of heatstroke.

People are urged to use air conditioners appropriately and stay hydrated even when not thirsty.

Families are advised to pay special attention to the elderly and children who are vulnerable to heatstroke.

Heatstroke is likely to have been the cause of death among several elderly people who were farming during extreme heat.