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It's autumn but it's still very hot
By Cao Desheng (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-07 00:48

Saturday is li-qiu in the Chinese lunar calendar and marks the beginning of autumn but hot weather is still lingering across most of the nation.

No marked cool airflows are expected across the country in the coming week except for Northeast China and the northern part of Inner Mongolia in North China, the China Central Meteorological Observatory says.

Dog days will dog the country, particularly southern and southwestern China, said Yang Guoming, a meteorological expert with the observatory.

"High temperatures have dominated many areas in southern and southeastern China for many days and affected areas will expand westward, centering around Zhejiang Province in East China," Yang said.

The hot weather will continue for another two weeks, said Lou Maoyuan, director of Hangzhou Meteorological Observatory.

In Shanghai, sweltering weather with temperatures above 35 degrees centigrade lasted for 21 days by Friday.

High temperatures have taken their toll across the country.

By the end of last month, a total of 3.3 million hectares of farmland had been suffering severe drought, according to the Office of State Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

Around 4.9 million rural population and 3.7 million livestock are facing drinking water shortages, the office said.

High temperatures also increases the demands on power supply and many cities have experienced power shortages.

More than 40,000 enterprises in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, have stopped using electricity provided by the national power grid since July 24 to ensure civic use, City Express reported.

The situation is expected to continue until next Tuesday.

"Many factories are hesitating to accept orders because of the severe deficiency in power supply. The direct loss from the suspension of production in my factory amounts to more than 3 million yuan (US$360,000) in the past 10 days," the report quoted a local manufacturer as saying.

While working to resolve the power famine and severe drought resulting from high temperatures, central government is calling for more efforts to fight against floods in other provinces.

Torrential rains have caused floods in many areas in Henan, Hunan and Hubei provinces as well as Yunnan Province.

By Wednesday, more than 5.49 million hectares of farmlands had been hit by flood and affected population amounted to 71.63 million with 340,000 houses collapsed, according to State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

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