Heat, flood batter China

Heat waves afflicted China’s north early July while torrential rains lashed its southern region.
Twenty one northern provinces saw heat wave temperatures.
Shanghai baked in sweltering 40.9 degrees Celsius, the hottest recorded there in 145 years. In Beijing, many stayed indoors over the weekend. In Shaanxi province, residents ordered food delivery rather than cook in the heat.
In Inner Mongolia, more than 200 firefighters fought a grassland fire, reported Xinhua News Agency. The blaze spread quickly in the heat, dry conditions and strong winds.
Elsewhere, thousands of people flocked to water parks to seek relief from the scorching sun.
At Hot Go Park, a 50-acre water park in Fushun City, Liaoning province in China’s northeast, people crammed into its popular Tsunami Wave Pool, which features 10-meter high waves.
The park has mammoth water slides, roller coasters, hot tubs, pools and restaurants.
Water parks and swimming pools likewise filled up in Nanchang City in east China’s Jiangxi province, and Wuhan in the central Hubei province.
Meanwhile, torrential rains inundated parts of central and south China, including Hunan, Hubei, Anhui, Sichuan and Guizhou provinces. Devastating floods damaged crops and destroyed homes, displacing an estimated 1.6 million people. Landslides caused by unrelenting rain killed at least 63 people.
Water levels in more than 60 rivers in southern China rose to dangerous levels.
Guangxi autonomous region, hard hit by rain and flood, experienced a temporary but extensive power blackout. It is China’s top sugar-cane growing region.
In Hunan, flooding forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate, damaged crops and destroyed houses. The total direct economic loss is estimated at RMB8.26 billion (P62.8 billion). Hunan is a major hog-raising province.