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Beijingers wilt under hottest day

07-06-2010 15:06 BJT Special Report: China Battles Heat Wave |

BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhaunet) -- The city's meteorological center issued the year's first orange-coded heat alert on Monday as Beijingers cranked up their air conditioners and the capital's consumption of electricity hit a new record.

Consistent hot weather has led to a sudden increase in patients seeking help for heat-related diseases at the city's hospitals.(Source: China Daily/mirror evening news)

Consistent hot weather has led to a sudden increase in patients 
seeking help for heat-related diseases at the city's hospitals.
(Source: China Daily/mirror evening news)

The center's warning was made at 10:30 am but the mercury stayed sky-high all day and peaked at 40.6 degrees Celsius at 5 pm. The weather experts said the city's land surface temperature exceeded 55 degrees.

Following the news of the year's hottest day, the Beijing Electric Power Company (BEPC), announced a new record for power consumption. It said the city gobbled up 14,354 kilowatt-hours of electricity as Beijingers battled the heat.

Officials from BEPC said the company could meet demand and they remained confident that electricity supply would not be interrupted this summer.

"The power network in Beijing was upgraded before the Olympics in 2008," said Wei Jiaxiang, chief of the customer service center at BEPC.

Twenty-one mobile power plants, with a total volume exceeding 15,000 thousand kilowatt-hours, will stand by around the clock to ensure customers' needs are met, Wei told METRO.

The heatwave that has already lasted three days is expected to ease and temperatures should fall to around 30 degrees Celsius after rainfall on Wednesday.

However, the rain could continue until Saturday, leading to "sauna weather" during the second half of the week.

The number of people suffering from diarrhea and cardiovascular disease has risen in many hospitals. Doctors suggest people avoid exposing themselves to too much sun, especially around midday and said outdoor workers need to be especially careful.

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