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China heat wave: Authorities issue highest-ever heat alert

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   Aug. 1, 2013 at 7:54 PM   |   Comments

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Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Just how hot is it in China? So hot that people are frying shrimp on manhole covers and cooking pork on sidewalks. College students have escaped the sweltering, stuffy heat of their dorm rooms for gym floors and rooftops. The tech-obsessed country even has people afraid of their cell phones.

"I'm so worried that the phone will explode while I'm using it," one teenager said.

Millions of people in China are experiencing record-breaking temperatures in the south and eastern parts of the country, a multi-week heat wave that has let to dozens of deaths and crop failure.

Since early July, most parts of the south have experienced temperatures over 95 degrees and even up to 104.

"About 19 provinces and regions are experiencing scorching heat, covering more than 3 million square kilometers, almost a third of the country," He Lifu, chief weather forecaster at the National Meteorological Center, told the China Daily.

This week, China's Meteorological Administration issued its second-highest heat alert for the first time ever, with the warning that temperatures could stay up until August 8.

At least there's opportunities to cool off -- sort of. Nearly 15,000 people visited the same pool in China's Sichuan Province on Saturday, triple the expected amount.

One swimmer made an analogy that's taken off on social media:

"There's so many people here, it's like a cauldron of boiling dumplings."

Follow @KateStan and @UPI on Twitter.
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