July 14, 2022
BEIJING – Record-breaking temperatures have been logged across China, scorching many parts of the country.
From July 6 to 10, meteorological stations in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces experienced record-equaling or record-high temperatures above 35 C, according to the National Meteorological Center.
Authorities in Zhejiang province had released 10 red warnings for heat－the highest warning level in the local four-tier system－for July by Sunday, breaking the record over the same period in previous years.
Wang Min, from Hangzhou, Zhejiang, who conducts nucleic acid tests, said, “Wearing the protective clothing, I feel burned in the high temperature. I am grateful for the ice given by kind residents for us to put under our armpits or behind our backs.”
Elsewhere, Shanghai continued to swelter in temperatures of up to 40 C on Tuesday after the city issued its first red heat alert of the summer on Sunday.
Those who have to go outside, even just for a short period of time, said the scorching heat was simply unbearable.
“The moment I stepped outside of the car, I felt myself dripping from head to toe just like an ice cream melting in the sun,” said Han Jing, a Shanghai mother who drove her daughter to high school entrance exams at around 1 pm on Tuesday.
The city’s education authority has taken into account the challenge brought by the heat wave that has lasted for eight days, ensuring all exam venues are air-conditioned and equipped with ice.
Students still have to line up to get their identification and epidemic information verified for entrance. Even a few minutes of waiting outdoors can be a challenge, Han said.
“It’s no exaggeration to say you can literally bake on the pavement,” she said.
In Chongqing, temperatures were above 40 C for the last two days, the local meteorological service said.
“The continuous hot weather makes it harder for me to breathe,” said Liu Yulin, a railway track maintenance worker from the city whose job requires him to work outdoors.
In summer, the biggest risk for trains is the tracks expanding due to heat, he said, so they need to check and cool down some tracks with water.
“The asphalt on the ground is melted and I feel my shoes sticking to it. After a day’s work, I usually drink at least a 5-pound jug of water,” the 50-year-old said.
Wang Yawei, an official from the China Meteorological Administration, told a news conference on Friday that the nationwide average temperature in June was 21.3 C, 0.9 C higher than the same period of the previous year, and the highest since 1961.