China scorched by record heatwave

Power use in Beijing has hit a record high as millions of people in northern China turned up air conditioning amid a heatwave that is scorching the region with temperatures up to 42 degrees Celcius, news reports said today.

Power use in Beijing has hit a record high as millions of people in northern China turned up air conditioning amid a heatwave that is scorching the region with temperatures up to 42 degrees Celcius, news reports said today.

Hospitals said the numbers of children being treated for heat-related ailments was up sharply, while construction workers building a new subway line in the Chinese capital were told to take the middle of the day off, the newspaper China Daily reported.

The government advised the public to stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day, and street vendors said sales of cold tea and ice cream were up.

Power demand in Beijing set a one-day record yesterday as hotels, department stores and private homes cranked up their air conditioning, the China Daily said, citing the Beijing Electric Power Corp.

Temperatures in the capital hit 41 degrees Celcius on Tuesday, with other cities recording highs a degree above that, the China Daily said, citing the national weather bureau.

In the south-west, the government of Chongqing announced they would open underground air-raid shelters for residents without air conditioning to take refuge from the heat.

Temperatures in the central industrial city of Zhengzhou have hit 37 degrees Celcius for 10 straight days – the longest such spell since 1967, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The heatwave hit the north as parts of southern China suffered from flooding triggered by torrential summer rains that have killed scores of people since the rainy season began on June 1.

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