Aug. 7 is the “Liqiu” among the twenty-four qi periods in China (for example, Lichun, Qingming, Dongzhi, etc.), which means the beginning of autumn. However, autumn did not come as expected. On Aug. 6, the National Meteorological Administration of China again issued a yellow high-temperature warning for 18 centrally run provinces and cities of about 35-39°C. Among them, in local areas such as northern Chongqing, Turpan in Xinjiang, etc., temperatures may rise to over 40°C. The continuous loss of thermal power and coal plants seriously threatens the power supply.
According to Xinmin Evening News, the highest temperature in Shanghai on Aug. 6 reached 38-39°C and will continue for the next nine days.
Mr. Zeng, a Shanghai citizen, told the Sound of Hope on Aug. 6: “The heat in Shanghai has lasted for more than 40 days and will continue until next week. People can’t bear to walk outside. Cleaning and construction workers who work outdoors sometimes adjust their working hours. For example, they will go to work early in the morning, and as soon as it is dawn, they will start working. At noon they rest. It’s not until 4 or 5 p.m. that they start working again. It’s the same with the PCR testing.”
According to CCTV, on Aug. 5, the Chongqing Meteorological Bureau raised the “high temperature stroke warning level 4” issued at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 2 to “high temperature stroke warning level 3”. The news agency quoted the warning as saying:
“It is forecast that in the next 10 days (from Aug. 6 to 15), Chongqing will continue to maintain a high-temperature background on a large scale. The maximum day temperature in most areas will reach 35 – 41°C. Locally it can reach 42-44°C. Some riverside areas will have temperatures above 40°C for five to seven days. Daily maximum temperatures in several counties will approximate or exceed historic records for the same period.”
Xinmin Evening News quoted Guo Jian, deputy director of the emergency department of Yueyang Midwest General Hospital, of the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He said, “According to preliminary statistics, in July, more than 20 people went to the hospital for medical examination or were transferred to the emergency department for mild heatstroke. Seven or eight people suffered from heat stroke.”
On Aug. 1, Photos posted online show several people at the gate of “Weilai Primary School” in Longhua District, Shenzhen, holding a banner. It said. “Welai Primary School give me back my father—working under high temperatures, being in coma for more than 10 days, no one cares, the school does not pay even a dime.” An attached caption said: “August 1, Shenzhen Weilai Primary School, a patient suffered a brain hemorrhage while working at high temperatures. Currently, the cost of medicine and hospitalization has cost 120,000 yuan currency equivalent to more than $17,700.”
According to Zhihu, since July this year, chemical plants and commercial zones in many provinces have received notices of “out-of-peak electricity use” and have been asked to “turn off electricity during peak hours and rationally use electricity.”
On July 6, at the press conference “Annual development report of China’s electricity industry 2022“, Ye Chun, deputy director of the China Electric Power Association, said during the peak summer period, the epidemic situation, the macroeconomic situation, the safety of coal production, the coordination of rail transport capacity, as well as the temperature, rainfall, and other factors intertwine and pile up. As a result, there is still much uncertainty in the supply of coal and electricity.
Continuous loss of thermal power and coal companies is a serious threat to the power supply in China. According to Mr. Ye Chun, since August 2021, the coal power sector of large power generation groups, in general, has suffered losses, with some companies losing up to 100%.
Bloomberg quoted an unnamed person familiar with the matter as saying on July 14 that the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is coming up. They do not want the power outage to happen again. So Chinese officials are investigating and will present a proposal to the leadership for the resumption of Australian coal imports.
People are still afraid of nationwide power cuts like in 2021. Since last September, over 20 provinces and cities have continuously launched “orderly use of electricity,” and factories in many places are required to “produce 3 days and stop 4 days, even produce 1 day and stop 6 days” per week, severely inhibiting economic development. In particular, the northeastern residential areas were suddenly cut off from electricity due to power overload, causing panic among residents.