China / Society

Xinjiang gripped by lingering heat wave

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-07-19 17:41

URUMQI -- Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in Northwest China sustained a red alert for high temperatures on Sunday for a fourth day.

Dou Xinying, chief weatherwoman with the Xinjiang Meteorological Station, said on Sunday that the heat wave is likely to linger for the next five days, as no cold air has been detected to expel the heat.

The region has sweltered under the heat wave with average temperatures hovering between 35 and 37 degrees Celsius or higher in certain areas.

Xinjiang has issued a red alert for the heat since Thursday. Red represents the most severe weather in a four-tier color-coded weather warning system, followed by orange, yellow and blue. Under the red alert, outdoor work should be suspended due to heat stroke risk.

This week, the ten hottest cities and places in China were all in Xinjiang. Locals joked that under the scorching sun, "humans were almost grilled meat short of a handful of cumin seed" -- a reference to the seasoned lamb kebabs famous throughout the region.

The highest temperature in Xinjiang was recorded in the Turpan Basin, where ground temperatures hit 75 degrees Celsius on Sunday.

The weather service warned that the heat will raise fire risks in forest and grassland areas and is likely to cause sudden flooding brought by melting snow on mountains.

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