At least 44 people have died across Japan as extreme heat waves continue to grip the east-Asia nation.
Out of the 44 that have died since July 9, as many as 11 lives were claimed on Saturday alone, with the mercury remaining around the 38 degree Celsius mark in central Tokyo.
Meanwhile, the temperature soared past 41 degrees Celsius in Kumagaya, the highest ever recorded temperature in Japan. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the temperatures recorded have been around 12 degrees higher than the average temperatures.
The agency has also alerted people to take appropriate measures to counter the scorching heat. Keeping oneself hydrated, staying away from direct sunlight, and the use of air conditioners is encouraged, with the agency warning that the "potential for heat illness is higher than usual."
With the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics due to start in two years' time, authorities have predicted high temperatures for Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu islands, where the mercury is likely to rise up or even cross the 35 degree Celsius mark, with the Hokkaido island likely to be spared from the sweltering heat.
Joel N. Myers, an Accuweather analyst, stated that the death toll was possibly in the hundreds, despite the official toll claiming it to be over two dozen, adding that it was likely to further increase.
"The elderly and those with pre-existent conditions, such as asthma and heart failure, are likely to face declining health due to exacerbation of their conditions due to weather," he said in a statement.
"Heat exhaustion and stroke, dehydration, migraines, loss of sleep and mood alteration can all occur due to dangerous heat. Historical data shows that more people are likely to be involved in vehicle crashes due to heat-related impacts, such as decreased ability to concentrate, the poor quality of sleep they get and impaired mood, etc," he added.
The heat wave in Japan follows up a series of flooding, the worst in years, as unusual weather conditions led to heavy downpours.