Japan's heat wave continues, as temperatures equal highest record

People cool off in the water at the beach during a summer heatwave in Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture on August 15, 2020.

Tokyo (CNN)Temperatures in central Japan tied for a national record on Monday, as the country sweltered under a scorching summer heat wave.

The mercury rose to 41.1 degrees Celsius (105.98 degrees Fahrenheit) in the central city of Hamamatsu, in Shizuoka prefecture on Monday, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, matching the highest temperature ever recorded in the country, which was set in Kumagaya, a city near Tokyo, in July 2018.
Japan has been enduring an intense heatwave since the middle of last week, with multiple cities and prefectures nearing 40°C (104°F) for several consecutive days.
    To compare, the average daytime temperature in August for Hamamatsu between 1898 and 2010 was 31.3°C (88.34°F), the JMA said. Last year, average temperatures in Japan reached the highest level since records began in 1898, and were almost a degree warmer than a typical year, according to the JMA.
    "Monday was a scorching hot day (like) I've never experienced, I was wearing a mask outside and drenched in sweat in the heat," said Satoru Shoji, who works at the Hamamatsu tourism office.
    On Monday, cities in Nagano, Gifu, Nara, Kochi and Miyazaki prefectures -- covering central and southwestern Japan -- saw temperatures above 39°C (102.2°F).
    Residents in the capital Tokyo broiled in 36.5°C weather, and have endured three straight days of temperatures above 35°C. Meanwhile, Osaka posted a high of 37.1°C (98.7°F) on Monday, and the popular tourist town of Kyoto reached 38.7°C (101.6°F)
    Of the country's 921 observation spots, 655 locations saw 30°C (86°F) weather, and 265 observed temperatures of over 35°C (95°F) on Monday.
    Another Hamamatsu resident who works at an eel teriyaki restaurant and gave her name as Ms. Ota, said, "I could not believe the temperature reached that high, but it feels as if a hot wind was blowing."
    A father and his daughter play in a water fountain at a park during a heat wave in Tokyo on August 14, 2020.
    Health officials are urging people to take precautions to avoid heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses.
    "Potential for heat illness is higher than usual," the JMA said in a statement, adding that people should "take appropriate measures," including drinking lots of water, staying away from direct sunlight and using air conditioners.
    The hot weather is set to continue. The agency has forecast extreme highs for much of the country's south on Tuesday, with some areas forecast to reach 39°C (102.2°F).