Japan’s energy infrastructure groaned on Thursday as a result of the warmest June on record in Tokyo, but a power outage that might have left tens of millions without power was barely avoided, and officials were preparing to withdraw warnings.

On the sixth day of a heatwave that started following the earliest conclusion to the capital’s rainy season in decades, temperatures neared 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in several sections of greater Tokyo, home to 37 million people.

Maximum temperatures are not expected to fall below 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) until Tuesday.

Despite the loss of production from a 600-megawatt (MW) plant, power disruptions were avoided, even though generators supplying Tokyo worked up to bear their load with just approximately 3 percent reserve capacity, the limit below which blackouts may occur.

Authorities said that they will suspend a warning about power outages that had been in force for four days.

“Thanks to everybody’s efforts, we were able to curb demand to a certain extent,” claimed the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.

Before the 600-MW plant was shut down, national grid monitor OCCTO predicted a 3 percent buffer for the Tokyo area’s crucial time from 4.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The lost facility was not scheduled to restart until late in the evening.

The industry ministry had issued a power shortage alert for a fourth day in regions surrounding the city, encouraging residents and businesses to save energy but not sacrificing air conditioning if doing so would jeopardize health.

According to the Tokyo Fire Department, 105 individuals were transported to the hospital with heatstroke on Thursday. A guy in his fifties died, while a lady in her fifties was critically injured.

This month’s temperatures have been the highest since records started in 1875.

At 1:00 p.m. (0400 GMT), the temperature in downtown Tokyo was 36.4C (97.5F), while Hatoyama, north of the city, reached 39.7C. (103.4F).

Source: Reuters

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