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Scorching temperatures to continue
( 2003-07-28 06:40) (China Daily)

Warm currents have sent temperatures soaring in the middle and lower regions of the Yangtze River.

Women take their clothes off to cool off as temperature soars to 40 degrees celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province July 27, 2003. [newsphoto.com.cn]

East China's Zhejiang Province smouldered over the weekend, with average temperatures of above 40 C and a peak of 43 C in some areas.

In Shanghai, and Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Hubei provinces, sweltering temperatures climbed across the board and are expected to continue this week in those regions.

In Beijing, downpours of rain may reduce thick mist, but the humid and uncomfortable weather is likely to continue in the city.

Residents in the Chinese capital are expected to see clear skies this week after sweating out a natural "sauna," which has blanketed the city for the last seven days.

The news is a sigh of relief for Beijing residents, coming after a round of heavy rainfall gradually covered the city with a humid mist which limited visibility to just 1,000 metres.

The uncomfortable weather started last Wednesday, and local meteorologist Li Huan'an attributed it to a 90 per cent relative humidity rate in the city.

"Beijing's weather is influenced by a warm and humid current. The mist caused by evaporation remains stable because no strong winds are blowing it away," he said.

The Beijing Meteorological Station predicted heavy rain on Sunday or Monday could reduce the mist, but it could increase again if drizzle follows the rain.

Residents play cards as they cool off on a sidewalk in Shanghai as temperatures reached 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit), July 25, 2003. Residents in China's financial hub have been experiencing a heatwave for more than a week and it is expected to continue for a few more days. [Reuters]

In East China's Fujian Province, a heavy Saturday afternoon rainstorm has helped alleviate drought to some degree in certain regions, an official from the weather station said Sunday.

A lack of rainfall, coupled with high temperatures since the beginning of the month, has affected more than 670,000 hectares of farmland and resulted in a shortage of drinking water for over 1 million people in Fujian and its neighbouring provinces.

Lin Xinbin, deputy director of the provincial meteorological bureau, predicted rain for Monday, but said it did not mean there would be rain all over the province. Clear days with high temperatures are expected in the week to come in most areas.

However, while Lin said the rain could help ease drought conditions in certain areas, greater efforts should be made in flood-control and drought-relief work. He called on the departments concerned to be fully prepared for possible landslides caused by torrential rains in hilly areas.

The waters of the Huaihe River, which mostly flows through East China, subsided below what is considered a dangerous level a week ago, but flooding has left many of the 165 million people living in the river's vast valley with a variety of diseases.

Medical workers in East China's Anhui Province are going all out to offer free medical care for people who have suffered from this summer's heavy floods.

The waters in Anhui have led to the dispatching of more than 3,600 medical teams consisting of 6,685 people to flooded areas to provide free treatment for 768,000 people.

"The epidemic situation is now basically stable," said Gao Kaiyan, director of the provincial Health Department, pointing to the fact that only fairly common diseases are being reported, such as diarrhoea and skin diseases.

A supervisory system has been set up to follow the situation in the river valley and some people have been specially designated to collect and analyse information about the diseases, he said.


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