The heat is on

The heat is on
PARCHED: A farmer in Bang Pla Ma district showing how dry the soil in his field has become.
PHOTO: AFP

Scorching heat has gripped several parts of China as the country enters the height of summer.

The meteorological bureau in Beijing said temperatures in the city reached their highest of the year early this week, with the mercury exceeding 42 deg C.

As a result, the city's streets have fewer pedestrians and cars than usual and some construction have sites stopped work because of the heat, China's official news agency Xinhua reported.

At a construction site in the city's Nankai district, a worker surnamed Zhu said: "It has been too hot these days. It is especially unbearable after lunch, when the skin burns under the sun."

Mr Guo Qiang, an express deliveryman in Beijing, said that high temperatures have made riding his motorised tricycle more difficult.

"Sometimes, I feel a little dizzy under the baking sun," China Daily quoted him as saying.

In east China's Jiangxi province, several cities, including Nanchang, Yichun and Xinyu, have experienced temperatures of more than 37 deg C.

The heat wave has also worsened the severe drought in northern China, which has received just half of its normal rainfall since last month, said the Beijing Meteorological Centre, China Daily reported.

The surface water area of Miyun Reservoir, one of Beijing's major sources of water, has shrunk nearly 40 per cent during the past year.

The heat wave arrived in northern and central China on Sunday, with the National Meteorological Centre issuing a yellow alert for high temperatures in central, eastern and northern China. A yellow alert was also issued on Monday.

Under the four-tier, colour-coded weather warning system, red represents the most severe weather, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

China is not the only country suffering from a heat wave and drought, skymetweather.com reported.

THAILAND AFFECTED

The farmers of Thailand's Suphan Buri province, the rice bowl of the country, are becoming increasingly desperate to irrigate their parched fields. This is because the region is experiencing its worst drought in over a decade.

Though the rainy season is under way, seven of the country's 67 provinces are experiencing a drought.

Nearly a third of the country has been forced to resort to water rationing.

The Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) warned that the drought could drag into next year if there are no rains in the north and north-east by September, Bangkok Post reported.

TMD director-general Wanchai Sakudomchai said that despite recent rains in Bangkok and other parts of the country, not enough have fallen into the rivers and major dams that supply water to farmers in the central regions, and drinking water to Bangkok residents.

TMD forecasts suggest that tropical storms will arrive in the central region next month, which should replenish the water supply in the Bhumibol and Sirikit dams. "If they don't come, we'll be in big trouble," Mr Wanchai said.

 


This article was first published on July 16, 2015.
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