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Seoul - Extreme heat in South Korea has claimed 35 lives since June 23, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Friday.

The victims varied widely in age but all died of heatstroke, the KCDC said. The death toll was unusual, having surpassed the figure in the same period last year by at least three times.

The agency said that around 2,800 people have been treated for illnesses or ailments that were connected to the high temperatures.

The strong summer heat descended on the Korean Peninsula in July after the rainy season. On Wednesday, the county of Hongcheon in the north-east of South Korea posted a temperature of 41 degrees Celsius - the highest temperature recorded in the country since measurements were first taken more than 100 years ago.

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DPA