China succumbs to record heat wave

Cities through On Monday, China was on high alert due to heatwaves as tens of millions of people were warned to stay at home and record temperatures led to an overload of power supplies.

In recent months, extreme and deadly heatwaves have hit from Western Europe in July to India from March to April.

Scientists say extreme weather events have become more frequent due to climate change and are likely to intensify as global temperatures continue to rise.

China is no exception and is experiencing one of the hottest years on record.

In the eastern provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian, mercury rose above 41 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit) over the weekend, hitting record highs in two cities.

People in areas at risk of red heat, mostly concentrated in the southeast and northwest, have been ordered to “cease all outdoor activities” and “pay special attention to fire prevention,” multiple National Weather Service notices over the weekend said.

ALSO READ: Heat wave peaks in Italy: 16 cities on high alert as Tuscany burns

Saturday marks the “Great Heat” day in the traditional Chinese calendar, long considered the hottest period of the year, but this summer has been exceptionally warm.

Earlier this month, Shanghai recorded its hottest temperature of 40.9°C since records began in 1873.

On Sunday, scorching heat sent hundreds of people to the beach in Xiamen, Fujian province, while others hid from the sun with hats and face masks.

China’s power grid is also under strain from increased demand for air conditioning, with the country’s largest power plants delivering record capacity in mid-July, according to industry publication Sxcoal.

Some local governments this month resorted to turning off street lights and raising electricity rates for factories during peak periods.

The ongoing heat wave, which has hit the lower Yangtze River particularly hard, will also “negatively affect local crops,” warned Fu Jiaolan, chief forecaster at the National Meteorological Center.