For the third time this summer, China’s most populous city, Shanghai, issued its highest heat warning as blistering temperatures broke records this week.
On Thursday, the economic and industrial city of 25 million people issued a red alert, warning of temperatures of at least 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the next 24 hours.
Temperatures reached 40.6 degrees Celsius in the afternoon, but fell short of Wednesday’s 40.9 degrees Celsius, which tied a 2017 record.
Shanghai’s red warning was in effect as of 5:00 p.m. (0900 GMT). It is the highest level in a three-tiered color-coded warning system, requiring construction and other outside operations to be curtailed or stopped.
Shanghai has issued three red alarms in the last five days, albeit they are comparatively unusual, with just 17 issued since records started in 1873.
The hot weather coincided with extensive COVID-19 testing in numerous areas amid modest outbreaks, exacerbating the heat for both citizens and health professionals wearing protective gear.
Some COVID-19 testers kept cool by taping bottles of chilled mineral water to their white hazmat suits, while others sat next to massive slabs of ice.
Some localities also started testing in the evening, when temperatures were lower.
The exceptionally hot weather this month has afflicted half of China. The Yangtze River valley, which includes major cities from Shanghai to Chongqing in the heartland, has been scorched by heat waves over the last week. more info
By 5:00 p.m., 86 red warnings had been issued throughout China, the most of which were in the Yangtze River basin.
On Tuesday, increased demand for air cooling boosted China’s maximum electricity load to an all-time high.
Authorities said that they were making every effort to guarantee that electricity supplies were available throughout the summer high demand season.