Heatwave in China 'Puts Farmers at Risk, Affects Power Supply, Shipping'
14:42 GMT 20.08.2022 (Updated: 18:49 GMT 19.10.2022)
© AFP 2023 / STRPeople walk on the waterfront bund in Shanghai on July 21, 2017. - Shanghai sweltered under a new record high of 40.9 degrees Centigrade (105 F) on July 21, authorities said as they issued a weather "red alert" over a stubborn heat wave that has plagued much of the country.
© AFP 2023 / STR
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The heatwave persisting in half of China for over a month may have a detrimental effect on the fall harvest, as power cuts persist and river levels are record-low, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported on Saturday.
For the first time in nine years Chinese authorities have introduced a nationwide drought alert on Friday, while the China Meteorological Administration issued the highest "red" warning for the eighth consecutive day. As of Saturday, extremely high temperatures have been recorded in the country for 31 days in a row.
Concerns are growing among farmers in central and eastern China, as there has been no rainfall for three weeks in some provinces, while temperatures have been record-high for a month, reaching over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), the newspaper reported. The next several weeks will be critical for the fall harvest of water-intensive crops of rice and soybeans, according to the report.
Water levels in China's longest river, Yangtze, reached record-low, which resulted in the closure of shipping routes in the middle and lower reaches of the waterway. The levels of water in the country's biggest freshwater lake Poyang are down by 75%. In the southeastern Chongqing municipality, home to over 30 million people, as many as 66 rivers and 25 reservoirs have run out of water, according to the report.
Extreme weather and low water levels have affected the country's power supply, as hydropower generation capacity has almost halved in some provinces. With the rising demand for air conditioning, several provinces have imposed power restrictions across different industries and introduced energy saving. Some have turned off air conditioning in office buildings and shut down factories for a number of days, affecting global chain supplies.