Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

People, crops and fish suffer in China heat wave

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 4:17 AM EDT, Thu August 1, 2013
Mass crowds of people attempt to cool off at a water park in Suining, Sichuan province on Saturday, July 27, amid a record heat wave hitting 19 provinces and regions in China. Mass crowds of people attempt to cool off at a water park in Suining, Sichuan province on Saturday, July 27, amid a record heat wave hitting 19 provinces and regions in China.
HIDE CAPTION
China reckons with heat wave
China reckons with heat wave
China reckons with heat wave
China reckons with heat wave
China reckons with heat wave
China reckons with heat wave
China reckons with heat wave
China reckons with heat wave
China reckons with heat wave
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Shanghai experiences its hottest July in at least 140 years
  • Dozens of people have died from heat-related causes in recent weeks, state media report
  • A meteorological agency has issued its second-highest national alert
  • Local authorities are resorting to cloud-seeding methods to try to induce rain

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Record-breaking temperatures have been searing large swaths of China, resulting in dozens of heat-related deaths and prompting authorities to issue a national alert.

People are packing into swimming pools or taking refuge in caves in their attempts to escape the fierce temperatures. Local governments are resorting to cloud-seeding technology to try to bring rain to millions of acres of parched farmland.

The worst of the smoldering heat wave has been concentrated in the south and east of the country, with the commercial metropolis of Shanghai experiencing its hottest July in at least 140 years, according to state media.

Temperatures in the sprawling city of 23 million inhabitants reached 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher on 25 days in July, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported Wednesday. More than 10 people died from heatstroke in Shanghai during the month, it said.

But the brutal temperatures aren't confined to the Shanghai region.

Heat wave - how hot is it?  Heat wave - how hot is it?
Heat wave - how hot is it?Heat wave - how hot is it?

"About 19 provinces and regions are experiencing scorching heat, covering more than 3 million square kilometers, almost a third of the country," He Lifu, chief weather forecaster at the National Meteorological Center, told the English-language newspaper China Daily.

The China Meteorological Administration issued its second-highest national heat alert on Tuesday, China Daily reported, adding that the highest alert has never been used.

Photos carried by state media showed people frying food like eggs, shrimp and bacon in pans placed on the road surface in some cities.

In Shanghai, the heat was being blamed for mounting numbers of dead fish in ponds and rivers, reported Shanghai Daily, an English-language newspaper.

Some of the highest temperatures were clocked in and around the eastern city of Hangzhou, about 100 kilometers southwest of Shanghai.

The thermometer went above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in Hangzhou on six out of seven days in the past week, state media reported. In the district of Xiaoshan, it reached 42.2 degrees Celsius (about 108 Fahrenheit) on Tuesday, the highest temperature recorded for the area.

Seven cities and counties in the surrounding province of Zhejiang used cloud-seeding techniques on Tuesday to bring rain to drought-hit farmland, China Daily said.

Forecasters say the aggressive heat is likely to continue into the middle of August.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:59 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
Chinese students show a handmade red ribbon one day ahead of the the World AIDS Day, at a school in Hanshan, east China's Anhui province on November 30, 2009.
Over 200 Chinese villagers in Sichuan province have signed a petition to banish a HIV-positive eight-year-old boy, state media reported.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A Chinese couple allegedly threw hot water on a flight attendant and threatened to blow up the plane, forcing the Nanjing-bound plane to turn back to Bangkok.
updated 12:03 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China's 1.3 billion citizens may soon find it much harder to belt out their national anthem at will.
updated 7:21 PM EST, Tue December 9, 2014
Like Beijing today, Los Angeles in the last century went through its own smog crisis. The city's mayor says LA's experience delivers valuable lessons.
updated 12:42 AM EST, Sat December 6, 2014
At the height of his power, Zhou Yongkang controlled China's police, spy agencies and courts. Now, he's under arrest.
updated 3:26 AM EST, Fri December 5, 2014
China says it will end organ transplants from executed prisoners but tradition means that donors are unlikely to make up the shortfall.
updated 1:48 AM EST, Fri December 5, 2014
China's skylines could look a lot more uniform in the years to come, if a statement by a top Beijing official is to believed.
updated 3:55 AM EST, Wed December 3, 2014
Despite an anti-corruption drive, China's position on an international corruption index has deteriorated in the past 12 months.
updated 7:01 AM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
A daring cross-border raid by one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's associates has -- so far -- yet to sour Sino-Russian relations.
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
A 24-hour Taipei bookstore is a hangout for hipsters as well as bookworms.
updated 8:53 PM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
China is building an island in the South China Sea that could accommodate an airstrip, according to IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.
updated 5:57 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
North Korean refugees face a daunting journey to reach asylum in South Korea, with gangs of smugglers the only option.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and "probably one or two other" countries have the capacity to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructure.
ADVERTISEMENT