Extreme weather has been sweeping across China, such as the record heatwave of the century and summer snowfall.
Chinese citizens of the Southwest have been seeking relief from the heat in World War II-era air raid shelters because electricity has been cut in dozens of provinces.
The heatwave is also causing heavy damage to property as well as people’s lives. We will give you further information right now.
The National Climate Center published a statement in mid-August: “The heat wave this time is prolonged, wide in scope, and strong in extremity. Taking all signs, China’s heat wave will continue, and its intensity will increase.”
This summer, heat waves began earlier and lasted longer than usual. A sizable portion of western and central China has experienced days with temperatures that exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
Based on the statement’s data, as of August 25, China’s heat wave has lasted 74 days, making it the longest in more than six decades since records began in 1961.
The drought and heat have shrunk rivers, including the giant Yangtze River in China’s southwestern region. Plunging water levels of the Yangtze have revealed this Trio of Buddhist statues believed to be 600 years old.
Du Gaozhi, cruise ship captain, said about this water level:
“In the past, the water level was basically more than three meters during this season. I’ve been working for over a decade, and I’ve never seen such low water levels”
Fed by China’s major rivers, Poyang Lake, is China’s largest freshwater lake. In the high season, Poyang Lake in Duchang County, Jiujiang City, Jiangxi, averages around 3,500 square kilometers (1,400 square miles).
But it shrunk to around one-fourth amid the recent drought. The lake became a small river, and fish died as they were stranded on the ground, turning into a dry river of dead fish.
Gu Binjie, an officer of the Chinese regulator, said that as of August 19, the heatwave had affected nine provinces, such as Sichuan, Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Anhui, Jiangxi, Guizhou, Shaanxi, Jiangsu.
In the same period, the Central Meteorological Observatory said that, over the past month, 1.7 million square miles of Chinese land had experienced temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius (95 ºF) or higher. That’s about half of China’s total land area.
Local farmer Chen Xiaohua, 68, said sweet potato plants died as the region is experiencing a drought in Fuyuan village in Chongqing, China.
“All scorched you see certainly cannot grow. The high temperature is slowly roasting the sweet potato leaves to death.”
Another Chongqing farmer told Voice of America that he lost half of his vegetable crop in heat as high as 41 degrees Celsius (106 Fahrenheit). On a farm south of the industrial metropolis of Chongqing, Gan’s surviving eggplants are no bigger than strawberries.
A man in Yongchuan, Chongqing, says that the heat also killed someone.
“In our industrial park in Yongchuan, which factories are on holiday, it is too hot, and one employee died in the workshop from the heat.”
The most significant impact is in Sichuan. Sichuan residents suffer the heatwave without electricity.
“For our Sichuan friends, there is a power outage in this area today and a power outage in that area tomorrow. The high temperature of more than 40 degrees, I said, chilling.”
A resident lost all of her poultry because of a water shortage and no electric power. In the Video, the woman talked in tears while showing a hundred dead chickens lying on the ground.
In another place in Sichuan, a woman shows her crops were destroyed by heat.
“Look! How dry is this weather? Those soybeans were dried to death. For a year, the common people are so busy working in vain.”
The heat also causes death for residents.
“Two days ago, a couple in our community died of heat at home.”
While other regions across China still endure hot weather, northwestern provinces have suffered deadly flash floods and summer snowfall.
Flooding in Qinghai killed at least 23 people and left eight missings.
Mudslides and overflowing rivers on August 18 hit six villages in Qinghai’s Datong County, causing some 1,500 residents to evacuate.
Meanwhile, many mountainous areas in the Altay region of Xinjiang saw their first snowfall in the early morning of August 20.
According to Chinese media outlet Tianmu News, the snowfall in some areas surpassed 4 inches while the temperature dropped to minus 4℃.
Frost also appeared in Mohe, Heilongjiang province.
The ice is scattered all over the vegetables’ leaves, threatening people’s crops.
The heatwave also caused a large-scale electricity shortage, damaging China’s economy.
On August 15, Sichuan Provincial Economic and Information Department and State Grid’s Sichuan Electric Power Company announced industrial power cuts were expanded to 19 over 21 cities for six consecutive days.
Mainland media Yicai.com reported that most manufacturers in Sichuan stopped their activities on August 15. The order applies to the entire province except for Panzhihua and Liangshan cities.
Accordingly, a major ferroalloy producer in the center of Sichuan has cut more than 60% of its output from the regular rate of 400 tonnes daily.
Sichuan is also a notable lithium mining industry in China. So the shutdown in the field might cause an increase in raw material costs, which is a key component in electric car batteries.
The energy crisis exacerbated the weakness of the Chinese economy when it saw a GDP growth of only 2.5% in the first half of 2022. It was less than half the plan of 5.5%.
Dan Wang, the chief economist of Hang Seng Bank China, told CNBC that the previous power shortage was harmful to China’s economy. But this year is worse.
“This year, we think this number will be a lot higher. If I have to give a conservative estimate, I would say 1.5% points lower”