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In China, August broke all heat records

Midsummer heat waves are not unusual in China, especially in the arid west and south of the country.

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In China, August broke all heat records

Midsummer heat waves are not unusual in China, especially in the arid west and south of the country.

But the Asian giant is facing extreme weather conditions this year, exacerbated by global warming, according to scientists.

Last month, the average temperature in China was 22.4 C, state broadcaster CCTV said on Tuesday, citing the meteorological service.

This exceeds the previous all-time high for the country by 1.2°C.

In August, some 267 monitoring stations across China tied or broke temperature records, according to the channel.

This summer, "the number of days of high heat was abnormally high", indicated on the chain the meteorological services, specifying that the consequences continued to be felt.

Several major cities recorded the hottest days in their history and, for lack of precipitation, many rivers dried up, like the largest river in the country, the Yangtze.

- "A warning" -

Temperatures have since dropped. But the climatic conditions have weakened the electricity network, at a time when millions of inhabitants were turning on their air conditioning.

Several provinces have thus had to ration electricity, which has heavily penalized activity and businesses, but also the habits of part of the population.

Sichuan (southwest) was one of the hardest hit regions last month.

To save energy, the provincial capital Chengdu had reduced the lighting in the subway and turned off its billboards. Locally, the electricity was even cut for some residents in Sichuan.

Many people took refuge during the day in shopping centers or the metro to find a corner of freshness.

August was also the third driest month on record in the country, with average rainfall 23.1 percent lower than usual, according to CCTV.

This unprecedented drought is now jeopardizing crops.

"It's a warning," said an official from the China Climate Center, Zhang Daquan.

- Rice and soy at risk -

This heat wave is "a reminder that we must have a deeper understanding of climate change" and its impact, said this official quoted by the People's Daily, organ of the ruling Communist Party.

On Tuesday, a Chinese weather service official warned that higher than usual temperatures are expected in China throughout September.

Drought is particularly problematic for rice and soybean crops, which are very water-intensive.

Last month, half of China's vast territory was affected to varying degrees by a lack of rainfall.

This gigantic area, which has a total of more than 370 million inhabitants, mainly followed the route of the Yangtze River, a precious source of drinking water.

In this context, the government has released a special envelope of 10 billion yuan (nearly 1.5 billion euros) to support farmers in the face of drought.

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