Sixteen school girls were taken to hospital, suffering from heat exhaustion after they collapsed during a school athletics meet in Tokyo’s Taito Ward on Wednesday. According to Tokyo firefighters, the meet began at the Taito Riverside Sports center at around 9:45 a.m. At that time, the air temperature had already passed 30 degrees.
Some 650 girls, aged between 12 and 17, were taking part in the event. During the opening parade, five girls collapsed. Another 11 girls complained of headaches and nausea as the event proceeded. The 16 were taken to hospital but were released later in the day, said officials.
A spokeswoman for the school told NHK that the event is usually held in September but was brought forward to June this year because of the unusually hot summer last year. She apologized to parents of the children and said that teachers would make a greater effort to monitor the condition of the pupils during outdoor events.
Meanwhile, the high temperatures that the nation has been experiencing since last week have prompted many media to declare that summer has begun, even though the rainy season has not officially been declared over.