Tokyo -

Sweltering temperatures across Japan left at least three people dead, while 3 000 others were rushed to hospital due to heatstroke, officials said on Wednesday.

The mercury soared past 30 degrees Celsius with high humidity as the country's month-long rainy season comes to an end, after a typhoon battered the country's south earlier this month.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said three people died from heatstroke last week, while a total of 3 179 people were taken to hospital, spiking from 2 473 a week earlier.

Among the dead was a 76-year-old woman who was found collapsed inside a greenhouse in a coastal city east of Tokyo, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Nearly half the victims were over the age of 65.

In a message on its website, the agency urged people to drink water frequently “even if you don't feel thirsty”. - Sapa-AFP