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 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 2:01 PM EDT, Sun April 13, 2014
CNN's Brian Stelter talks with CCTV correspondent Jim Spellman on how the Chinese media has covered MH370's mystery.
China's economy has bested many others in just the past 10 years.
updated 2:02 AM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
In China, users of the "Life Black Box" website can set up final farewells to their friends in case they suddenly die.
updated 1:32 AM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
A recent university study claims Chinese micro-blogging activity might not be as vibrant as expected.
updated 6:14 AM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
Chinese art has been fetching some serious cash -- here's how we can elbow into the market
updated 10:51 PM EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
A Shanghainese collector paid $36 million for this tiny cup decorated with chickens.
updated 2:57 AM EDT, Tue April 8, 2014
Ben Richardson on corruption in China: a veil of secrecy shrouds the links between power and wealth.
China's economy is slowing and growth in 2014 could fall short of the government's official target, according to a CNNMoney survey of economists.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 8, 2014
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is the first foreigner to visit the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning.
updated 9:26 PM EDT, Sun April 6, 2014
If the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 caused a rift in China-Malaysia relations, the two countries appear to have put it behind them.
updated 1:17 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
Martin Jacques argues that in the twenty-first century, China will challenge our perception of what it is to be modern.
A new survey of university students in China shows where they most want to work. What are the dream employers for Chinese students?
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
What are President Xi Jinping's greatest goals as he visits the EU headquarters in Brussels?
Last year, thousands of Chinese tourists flocked to Yellowstone National Park to view the mountains, the buffalo and Old Faithful.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Mon March 31, 2014
A senior Bloomberg News journalist quit his role earlier this month, saying the "mishandling" by his bosses of a story critical of China was behind his departure.
updated 7:55 AM EDT, Thu March 27, 2014
"The aim is to let [families of MH370 passengers] express anger while keeping them restrained," says a Chinese official.
updated 9:58 AM EDT, Thu March 27, 2014
U.S. President Barack Obama's secret weapon in China? Michelle.
updated 10:53 PM EDT, Wed March 26, 2014
Private schools that employ humanistic pedagogy for young children are becoming popular in China. A look at the factors behind the boom and potential pitfalls.
ADVERTISEMENT