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Heat wave hits East China cities
By Tian Xiuzhen & Shao Xiaoyi (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-27 01:43

High temperatures are expected to linger in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River for several days yet, meteorological officials said Monday.

The city of Shanghai is expected to remain on red alert as the temperatures are expected to remain above 35 C until the end of this month, according to experts of Shanghai Municipal Meteorological Centre.

Residents use umbrella as they cross a street in Shanghai during a heatwave. Meteorologists in Shanghai plan to seed clouds to try to create rain and cool scorching temperatures blamed for overloading the city's power generators. [AFP]
The lingering subtropical anticyclone will continue to challenge government administrators as the scorching heat exerts its full force here.

Electric generators have been kept running near maximum load so as to meet the surging power demand of households while 5,000 industrial producers have been co-ordinated to shift their working hours to reduce the pressure.

The electric load reached 14.44 million kilowatts Monday, following 15.006 million kilowatts recorded last Friday according to Shanghai Municipal Electric Power Company.

The company has worked out arrangements with other power suppliers such as introducing electricity from the East China Power Grid to help the city through the hot summer.

Shanghai Municipal Water Affairs Bureau has also been fully prepared to quench the thirst as the city increased the supply of tap water to 9.24 million cubic metres, an increase of 2.53 per cent more than the highest amount last year.

The commercial sector is optimistic as products that help beat the summer heat are selling well. On the other hand, the medical sector is being challenged as an increasing number of patients who suffer from sunstroke or gastroenterological diseases demand more hands and beds.

Hospitals such as Huashan Hospital and Shuguang Hospital witnessed a daily increase of around 10 per cent more patients at the outpatient and emergency departments.

The case is more significant in the Children's Hospital under Fudan University as about 550 young patients arrive every day to receive intravenous infusions.

"Most of the illnesses are caused because these little babies cannot adapt to air-conditioners or take improper food," said Luo Weifen, spokeswoman of the hospital.

In Hangzhou, a local meteorological official said that the scorching temperatures will continue in the coming days.

The city saw four successive days last week with the temperatures rising above 38 C. On Saturday, the temperature soared to this summer's highest of 39.5 C .

Due to the heat wave, the number of people who have gone to Hangzhou's hospitals with heat related ailments increased sharply.

According to a doctor surnamed Liu from the First Hangzhou Hospital, the outpatient cases increased to 5,500 Monday, an increase 22 per cent from the normal period.

In addition, people who suffered fever, heatstroke, and related acute diseases caused by frequent air-conditioner use have doubled, especially for senior citizens.

The heat has also worsened the serious power shortage in the city.

Although the local government launched emergency measures last week to ensure the residents have electricity during the night, more than a hundred lines of electricity have to be cut off.

As the number of high-temperature days outnumbered officials' predictions, 97 local enterprises have been required to stop operation today which were scheduled to shut down in August.

The local meteorological centre is planning to attempt to induce artificial rain to ease the drought and the heat wave.

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