Over the past three days in Beijing the mercury has climbed to a fiery 40 degrees Celsius, causing the Beijing Meteorological Bureau to issue a health warning and enabling city residents to barbecue shrimps in the street.
According to reports, one man has already died of heatstroke earlier today at Beijing South Railway Station. The man was waiting in line outside the tickets stand when he suddenly fainted. By the time paramedics arrived, the man was already dead.
At Tiananmen Square, the surface temperature of the ground reached 60 degree Celsius on July 12. A traffic police officer on duty reported that the rubber soles of his shoes were melted off by the heat from the ground.
The heat has also led to a surge in power consumption, as the city’s electricity load reaches a new high of 18,170,000 kilowatts, with over 40% of it estimated to have been used on air conditioning.
Yesterday, some reporters in Beijing carried out an experiment at a park where they tested the surface temperature of the metal outdoor park facilities. They measured the temperature of the surfaces of metal gymnastic equipments and plastic slides under the scorching sun, and found out that they reached about 58.4 degrees Celsius and 60.7 degrees Celsius respectively.
In order to get an appreciation for how hot things had gotten, they placed some raw meat and shrimps on the surface. Half an hour later they found that the food had already been cooked through.
Meteorologists predict that the heat will die down towards the end of the week, but in the meantime we recommend staying hydrated and avoiding the sun during midday.
By Crystal Lau
[Images via Oriental Daily]