Scorching heat hits Beijing, most of China

08:18, July 05, 2010      

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The bulk of China's mainland is being baked by the scorching sun, as the heat spell is expected to linger for the week, weathermen have warned.

Beijing's highs are expected to hit more than 38 degrees Celsius today, while southern Guangdong, Jiangxi and Hunan Provinces will reach more than 40 degrees Celsius, the highest for 2010.

Parents in Beijing, Chongqing and Shanghai are buying bottles of water for their children, who have two weeks in the school before the summer vacation. And, grandpas and grandmas are urged to stay at home, with conditioners turned on, to prevent any accidentals from happening.

The national weather forecaster said Sunday that China's southern and northern part will experience unusually high temperatures until Thursday.

Hot weather has persisted since the end of June in most of South China, where temperatures have often exceeded 35 degrees Celsius. The National Meteorological Center expanded its yellow-color alert for high temperatures to include North China Sunday.

The highest in capital city reached 39.7 degrees in central Beijing on Sunday, while Hebei's provincial capital Shijiazhuang city hit 41 degrees.

Because of the sudden attack of the heat spell, hospital emergencies surged by more than 30 percent at the children's hospital in Guangzhou, when temperatures reached 38 degrees over the weekend.

Guangzhou also opened 488 temporary shelters for local residents to escape the heat.

"It is too hot to stay at home," said a 70-year-old woman surnamed Su from a shelter.

Grid operators have this month faced tremendous pressure to meet soaring power demands, as consumers crank up their air conditioners.

Hebei's provincial development and reform commission estimated the power demand would grow 16 percent year on year during summer's hottest point.

By People's Daily Online


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