A worker at a Tokyo Olympics construction site died on Thursday after being found unconscious while working outside, organizers said on Friday, with the press saying sunstroke is suspect as the Japanese capital suffocates. through a lethal heat wave.
High temperatures have killed at least 57 people across Japan since late July, just a year before Tokyo hosted the 2020 Games, highlighting the possible health threat to athletes and fans that is one of the biggest challenges for Olympic planners. .
A 50 construction worker who was sitting in front of Tokyo Big Sight, which is being renovated to serve as a media center for Tokyo 2020, was found unconscious on the ground on Thursday afternoon and taken to hospital. where his death was confirmed, organizers Tokyo 2020 said in a statement.
"The cause of death is still unknown," spokesman Masa Takaya said in an email, adding that they would provide more details as soon as the cause of death was clear.
Police quoted by national broadcaster NHK said local conditions suggest that heat stroke may have been the cause, but police declined to confirm the report to Reuters. Temperatures in Tokyo reached 35,5 degrees Celsius on Thursday.
Temperatures in Tokyo have been above 31 degrees Celsius since 24 July, just one year before the Games opened, with heat intensifying in August to the average 34,8 degrees Celsius.
At least 57 people died from Japan between 29 in July and 4 in August and 18.347 were taken to hospital. About 45 people have died in Tokyo since 1 August, according to NHK, many of them elderly people living alone.
Most of the Summer Olympics were held during the summer in the northern hemisphere, but when Tokyo hosted the 1964 Games earlier, they were moved to October to avoid the summer heat. The 1968 Mexico Olympics were also held later due to weather conditions.
However, these changes are no longer possible due to international broadcasting and sports schedules, including the US football season and European football. Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 were held in summer, despite the weather of both cities.
The organizers of the Olympics plan to take measures to deal with the heat, including shaded rest areas, tents at security checkpoints, fog and ice packs.
Male and female marathon start times at 9 and 2 in August, respectively, were moved to 6 in the morning as an additional precaution.
Tokyo will host the Olympics for the second time, with the Games running from 24 July to 9 August.