Heatwaves hit many places across China

A heat wave is sweeping China, the maximum temperature may reach 44 degrees Celsius (111.2 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Shanghai reported 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) on Sunday, July 10, for the first time this year. The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said that the city has only experienced 15 days of temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius since records began in 1873.

According to China’s National Meteorological Administration, 84 cities issued red alerts on Wednesday, July 13.

A red alert means temperatures are expected to reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher in the following 24 hours.

Record-high temperatures have been reported in Zhejiang province, just east of Shanghai, beating above 42 degrees Celsius (107 degrees Fahrenheit) on Wednesday.

Areas of the Sichuan Basin are also experiencing record high temperatures this year.

Some examples in Shanghai are as follows: a viral photo on social media shows a COVID test staff in full protective gear holding a one-meter-tall block of ice by the side of the road. 

The Shanghai Safari Park consumes 8 tons of ice daily to keep the animals cool.

According to Reuters, Shanghai resident Zhu Daren said, [quote] “Even though it’s only July, it feels like the temperature is already at its highest point. Basically, you have to turn on the air conditioner when you get home and put on sunscreen when you go out. ” [end quote]

In southern Jiangxi province, part of the road was bent at least 15 centimeters due to the heat.

According to CCTV, the Chinese media agency, the ground temperature in Jiangxi province is up to 59 degrees Celsius (138 degrees F) and the province is already in grilling mode.

Nanjing, one of China’s top three “furnaces,” has opened its underground bomb shelters to residents since Sunday, July 10, with wartime bunkers equipped with Wi-Fi, books, water fountains, and even microwave ovens. The city issued a red alert on Tuesday, July 12.

Chongqing is also a “furnace.” The roof of one of its museums has literally melted, with the traditional Chinese tiles popping off as the heat melts away the tar layer below. The city was on red alert on Monday, July 11.

Heat Stroke alert, the body temperature exceeds 42 ℃

According to mainland media, Zhejiang Lishui Central Hospital has received many heat stroke patients in the past week.

A 49-year-old male patient was admitted to the hospital with a body temperature of up to 40,7°C. Then, his body temperature increased to 42.5°C and he suffered a multi-organ failure. He is still being treated in an emergency.

On July 13, a 48-year-old Suzhou factory worker suddenly fainted while working, and suffered convulsions. His temperature exceeded 42 ° C.

A man in Zhengzhou suddenly fell into a coma due to heatstroke. When he was taken to the hospital, his body temperature reached 42.3 ° C. All organs in the body seem to have been damaged. 

Power shortage 

Severe heat waves have pushed electricity demand to extreme levels in many regions. 

On Tuesday, July 14, Zhejiang province urged its 65 million residents and businesses to save electricity.

One reason for the blackouts, in addition to a surge in electricity demand, is a coal shortage, which China uses to produce about 60 percent of its electricity. 

In the second half of last year, coal shortages once plunged China into an energy crisis, with power cuts in many places.

Grain and pork prices soar

High temperatures are also hitting China’s crop production and threatening to push up food inflation.

Rising grain prices in recent weeks in domestic and global markets have begun to affect China’s feed and hog industries.

According to the latest data from China Development and Reform Commission on July 1, hog prices have risen 46 percent since March.

According to China’s latest CPI data, the consumer price index rose 2.5% from a year earlier, up from 2.1% in May and the highest level in nearly two years. Pork prices increased by nearly 3% in June compared to May.

Heatwaves and flooding go hand in hand

China has had a summer of contrasts this year, with both heat waves and heavy rains bringing disaster. As the heat wave raged, flooding also hit many places.

By Wednesday, July 15, three people were reported dead and five missing in Pingwu County, Sichuan Province. 

In northeastern Heilongjiang, one person was reported dead and eight were missing. 

The real number of casualties is not known because the Chinese authorities have consistently withheld data.

Nearly 500,000 people were affected by floods and landslides in Guangdong province. More than 177,000 people were forced to relocate, and many families had their homes and crops destroyed.

China’s annual flood season traditionally begins in June, but in recent years, it has become increasingly intense and dangerous.

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