Heat, Drought Strain China's Power, Water Resources
BEIJING Broiling temperatures and a severe drought have left millions of people short of water and strained power supplies in eastern and southern China, leading to at least two deaths and a blackout in one city, news reports said Thursday.
A blackout was enforced in the eastern city of Hangzhou to protect its power transmission grid after temperatures topped 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit), the Xinhua News Agency said.
Power use in China has soared in recent summers as families, shopping malls and hotels crank up newly acquired air conditioners, competing with factories for supplies.
Demand in Hangzhou has jumped 23 percent over the same period last year and outstrips supply by 250,000 kilowatts, the agency said.
In the southwestern industrial center of Chongqing, where temperatures reached 44.5 degrees Celsius (112 degrees Fahrenheit), businesses have been ordered to halt work in the afternoon and at night to ease the strain on power supplies, Xinhua said.
Chongqing and parts of neighboring Hunan province also have been hit by a drought this summer, causing drinking water shortages for 7.8 million people, the report said.
In the eastern city of Nanjing, a 30-year-old tourist died of heat stroke Monday, the agency said.
It was the second reported heat-related death after a shipyard worker in Shanghai died while working weekend in temperatures of 38.6 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit).
Source: Associated Press