Broad swathe of China swelters in high temperatures

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SHENZHEN, China, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Several regions of China including the major southwestern city of Chongqing baked in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) on Saturday, while the country’s national observatory continued its red alert for high temperatures.

In Zhejiang, home to many factories and exporters, a meteorological official said that the eastern province has broken its previous record for high temperature days this year, with 31 days above 35 degrees Celsius and 16 days above 38 degrees Celsius.

Along with Chongqing, which saw temperatures up to 42.1 degrees Celsius weather on Saturday, Hubei, Hunan, Shandong, Anhui, Xinjiang, Jiangxi and Fujian were among the provinces and regions where temperatures exceeded 35 degrees Celsius.

A thunderstorm appeared to have helped spare Shanghai from breaking its 40.9 Celsius record on Saturday, though residents of the commercial hub of 25 million still expressed fatigue from the ongoing heatwave.

“It’s like being in a steamer, it’s really hot,” said 70-year old resident Shen Fengming. “Even if you don’t walk around outside, you’ll still end up sweating.”

“I went to our port and walked around,” said 45-year-old Huang Yi, who works at a container port. “It was just an hour, but my clothes and pants were all wet. Compared to years before, the temperature this year is particularly high.”

Last week China’s weather bureau warned that the country’s average ground temperatures have risen much more quickly than the global average over the past 70 years and will remain “significantly higher” in the future as the challenges of climate change mount.

(Reporting by Xihao Jiang in Shanghai and David Kirton in Shenzhen; Editing by Michael Perry)

A macaque monkey cools off in a public swimming pool amid hot weather near Clear Water Bay in Hainan province, China. Hainan Island is the largest and the most popular holiday destination in China. Located in the South China Sea, Hainan is also called the ‘Hawaii of China.’ EPA-EFE/ALEX PLAVEVSKI

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