Temperatures in 19 cities in the eastern provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian are expected to exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the next 24 hours, according to the China Meteorological Administration.
An additional 208 cities and counties across China are under an orange alert, the second-highest heat alert that indicates temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).
This warning applies to parts of southern and eastern China, including Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, and parts of Anhui and Henan.
The heat wave coincides with the “Great Heat” on Saturday, traditionally the hottest day of the year in the Chinese lunar calendar.
China has been battling persistent high temperatures since June, with an average temperature of 22.1 degrees Celsius (nearly 72 degrees Fahrenheit), the highest since 1961, according to China’s National Climate Center.
In recent weeks, at least 71 national weather stations across China have recorded record temperatures. Three cities in central Hebei and one in southwestern Yunnan have reached 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit).
China’s Central Meteorological Observatory has advised people to avoid outdoor activities, reduce working hours and take heat stroke protection measures during hot periods.
Earlier this year, the Chinese government released a new policy paper aimed at improving its response to climate change, which it says not only poses long-term challenges but also makes the country more vulnerable to “sudden and extreme” events such as heat waves. droughts and floods.
“Climate change has already had a severe negative impact on China’s natural ecological system and continues to spread and infiltrate the economy and society,” the government’s national climate change adaptation strategy says.
By 2035, he pledged to transform China into a “climate resilient society” by establishing a nationwide climate risk monitoring and assessment system and expanding early warning capabilities.
Nectar Gan of CNN contributed to the story.