China has issued heatwave warnings around its commercial hub Shanghai after days of record-breaking temperatures caused several deaths. The city has witnessed its highest temperatures in at least 140 years.
Authorities issued a "red" heatwave warning around Shanghai on Wednesday afternoon as temperatures surpassed 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit). The alert was the highest ever issued and the top option available.
The China Meteorological Administration later issued an "orange" alert, the second on its scale, in more than half a dozen provinces in the south and east of the country amid warnings temperatures could reach 41 degrees Celsius.
Large swathes of China have been in the grips of a heatwave in recent weeks, with Shanghai bearing the brunt of the temperatures.
Meteorologists said Wednesday was the ninth consecutive day Shanghai had witnessed temperatures of 38 degrees Celsius and above. Last Friday reached 40.6 Celsius (105 Fahrenheit), the highest since records began in 1873.
Several deaths have been linked to the recent spike in temperatures. Citing the Global Times, news agency dpa reported that a 63-year-old woman and a 51-year-old man died from heat stroke in the city over the weekend. Another death was reported in Nanjing, 250 kilometers (155 miles) north-west of Shanghai, and two more in Changsha, about 800 kilometers inland, the report said.
Chinese state media has attributed the recent heatwave to a subtropical high pressure system and a lack of rain.
ccp/hc (AFP, dpa)