Heat wave scorches NW China's Xinjiang

08:42, July 14, 2011      

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Residents cool off themselves in a swimming pool in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, July 13, 2011. The temperature reached some 40 degrees Centigrade here on Wednesday. Local meteorologic department issued the first red alert for heatwave in Urumqi this year. (Xinhua/Wang Fei)

A high temperature alert was issued Wednesday in Urumqi, the capital city of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, local meteorological authorities said.

Dou Xinying, the chief weather forecaster of Urumqi's meteorological station, said that northern Urumqi is currently facing a heat wave, with temperatures climbing to 40 degrees Celsius.

"The high temperatures will last for two or three days in Urumqi, with cooler air arriving this weekend," Dou said.

More than eight of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region's prefectures have been scorched by heat waves since the beginning of the month.

In the Turpan Basin and its bordering counties of Piqan and Toksun, temperatures reached 45 degrees Celsius this week. Several areas in northern Xinjiang saw temps climb to 40 degrees Celsius.

According to local authorities, workers have finished digging 26 wells, which will supply Urumqi with more drinking water during the heat wave. The wells will supply water to more than 20,000 households, local authorities said.

Xinjiang meteorological authorities said rains are expected from July 14 to 16, which will help to ward off the effects of the heat wave.

According to local forecasts, heavy rains and strong winds will batter the Tianshan Mountains and the Ili River valley.

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