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Okinawa baked in record heat

Date Posted: 2001-08-16

The Naha Meteorological Observatory recorded the highest temperature in 102 years on Thursday, Aug. 9, when the mercury hit 35.6 degrees.

According to the observatory, the temperature reached the highest peak in Naha City at seven minutes past one in the afternoon. That marked the highest temperature on record in Okinawa since official observations started in 1890. The previous record was 35.4 degrees observed in Ishigaki Island in 1899.

Officials at the observatory said that the maximum temperature in Naha on Friday was 35.1 degrees centigrade. Because of the continuing record hot weather, the leaves of the city’s deigo trees are already turning yellow and falling off. Usually, the leaves of Deigo trees fall from winter to the beginning of spring and the trees bloom in the beginning of summer on Okinawa.

Trees and people are not the only ones to suffer. Just hatched red sea bream are dying because of extensive heat at the Itoman Fishing Port fish hatchery. The damage to red sea bream hatchlings caused by warm water began to appear at the end of June, and about 13,000 died during July.

Hens kept for eggs lose appetite because of the intense heat day after day, and stop eating. Their egg production is decreasing, and they also crack easily. The number of eggs local farms shipped in June is already 16 million down from the previous year. Prefecture agriculture officials are reportedly pondering various measures to battle this serious problem.

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