A thermometer set up on a road in Seoul reads 39 C last Thursday. (Yonhap)
At least five people are presumed to have died of heat-related illnesses this week as scorching weather continued to grip the country, health authorities said Thursday.
A total of 869 people were reported to have suffered heat-related illnesses from May 20 to Wednesday, more than double the number reported the same period last year, which stood at 356, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
The number of deaths from heat illnesses was tallied at 12, including four since Sunday, compared with 11 in 2019 and nine last year.
Unrelenting hot weather has continued in most parts of the country since mid-July.
The weather agency earlier said the number of extreme heat days, or days with maximum temperatures of 33 C or higher, in Seoul this year is expected to exceed the normal level.
Seoul experienced nine extreme heat days this year until Sunday, already surpassing the average annual of 8.7 from 1991 to 2020. (Yonhap)