Shanghai issues another rare extreme heat warning

A man wearing a face mask reacts on a street amid a heat wave warning, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Shanghai, China July 13, 2022. REUTERS/ Aly Song

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SHANGHAI, July 14 (Reuters) – For the third time this summer, Shanghai issued its highest extreme heat alert as temperatures looked set to test record highs in China’s most populous city on Thursday.

The city of 25 million people has announced a red alert, saying temperatures are expected to reach at least 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the next 24 hours.

In a three-level warning system, construction and other outdoor work must be reduced or stopped under a red alert.

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Shanghai has issued three red alerts in the past five days, although this is a relatively rare occurrence as the city has issued 17 such alerts since record keeping began in 1873.

On Wednesday, the commercial and industrial hub sweltered as temperatures hit 40.9 degrees Celsius, equaling a record set in late July 2017.

The hot weather coincided with mass testing for COVID-19 in several districts this week amid minor outbreaks, increasing the heat for residents and Hazmat-friendly health workers.

Some COVID-19 testers stuck bottles of frozen mineral water to their white Hazmat suits as they worked, while others sat next to huge blocks of ice to cool off.

Some communities also began testing their residents in the evening when it was cooler. Read more

“This suit is terribly hot,” Peng Lei, who worked at a testing site, told Reuters.

“Clothes are never dry. All day they are wet with sweat.”

Half of China was affected by last month’s unusual heat wave. The Yangtze River basin – encompassing megacities from Shanghai to Chongqing in the heart of the country – has suffered heat waves over the past week. Read more

As of 3:30 p.m. (0730 GMT), 84 red alerts were in effect across China, mostly in the Yangtze River Basin.

With increased demand for air conditioning, China’s peak electric load hit a record high of 1.22 billion kilowatts on Tuesday, the National Development and Reform Commission said Thursday.

The state planner said it is making every effort to ensure energy supply during the peak summer demand period.

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Reporting by Albee Zhang, Xihao Jiang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Christopher Cushing

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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