A red alert means temperatures are expected to exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) in the next 24 hours, according to the National Weather Administration.
Authorities also issued warnings for regions from the central province of Shaanxi to the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu. Zhejiang, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces could also see temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, according to the Central Meteorological Observatory.
Temperatures have been rising for several days, with Shanghai issuing the red alert on Sunday for the first time this year as the financial center hit 40 degrees Celsius, according to state-run tabloid The Global Times.
Shanghai has only experienced 15 days with temperatures above 40 degrees since the city began keeping records in 1873, the Shanghai Meteorological Service said on Sunday.
Vendors in the city reported increased sales of liquor-chilled ice cream, melons and crayfish, a popular summer dish. In a sprawling wildlife park in Shanghai, eight metric tons of ice are used every day to keep lions, pandas and other animals cool.
Other parts of the country, such as places in the southwestern Sichuan Basin, have also experienced record temperatures this year, according to The Global Times.
In the city of Chongqing, which issued a red alert, the roof of a museum melted and traditional Chinese roof tiles burst as heat dissolved the underlying tar. The city has deployed trucks to spray water in an effort to cool its streets.
Elsewhere, residents are trying to cool off in various ways. On Sunday, large crowds in the city of Qingdao in the eastern province of Shandong flocked to the beach to take a dip in the sea. Children in Nanning, in the Guangxi region, played barefoot in public fountains. In Nanjing, Jiangsu province, residents headed to a bomb shelter to escape the heat, reading newspapers and watching TV to while away the time in Wi-Fi-equipped war bunkers.
In its statement, the Central Meteorological Observatory called on local officials to implement measures to prevent heat stroke and fires. Residents should avoid outdoor activities and take protective measures, especially the young, the elderly and people with health problems, he added.
China’s summer of contrasts this year has wreaked havoc with both heat waves and heavy rain. Citing climate change, authorities warned against disasters starting in mid-July, usually the hottest and wettest time of year.
China’s annual flood season traditionally begins in June and is typically most severe in densely populated agricultural areas along the Yangtze River and its tributaries, but it has become more intense and dangerous in recent years, and experts have warned. that climate change could make things worse. .
Additional information from Reuters.
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