Dozens of cities in China are reeling under record high temperatures as searing heat and contrasting heavy downpours wreak havoc across the country.
At least 86 cities in the east and southern parts of the country issued heat alerts on Tuesday, and dozens were red alerts, the highest in a three-tier warning system, as administrations scrambled to take steps to protect citizens.
Temperatures have broken records for the month of July in parts of Jiangsu province and Shanghai, with forecasters expecting harsh weather to linger for days.
In the city of Yixing in Jiangsu, temperatures rose to 41.3 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, a historic peak, the China Meteorological Administration said on Wednesday.
#Heatstroke Trends On Weibo
The hashtag #Heatstroke was trending on social media with 2.45 million views on the Weibo social platform of discussions ranging from people being admitted to hospital and the detrimental effects of long-term heat exposure.
“This year’s weather is really hot and abnormal, it has been more than 30 degrees Celsius for two months!”, a Weibo user wrote.
Experts blame global climate change for the unusual weather.
On Tuesday, maximum temperatures soared to 37-39 degrees Celsius in parts of Sichuan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei and Anhui provinces, and the cities of Chongqing and Shanghai.
In particular, the cities of Luzhou and Yibin in Sichuan and Zhaotong in Yunnan, as well as Shaoxing, Ningbo, Jiaxing and Huzhou in Zhejiang, and Changzhou and Wuxi in Jiangsu, saw temperatures of around 40 to 42 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, heavy rain battered parts of Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Shandong, Hebei, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang provinces and Inner Mongolia region.
Forecasters expect the intense heat and rain to continue over the next several days.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara