Official notices say that a provincial capital in southwestern China has dimmed outdoor advertisements, subway lighting systems and building signs to save energy as the area faces high temperatures. power crisis caused by record high temperatures. Mercury spiked more than 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in Sichuan province this week, fueling massive demand for air conditioning and depleting reservoirs in a region that depends on dams to supply electricity. most electricity. Factories including a joint venture with Japanese car maker Toyota in the provincial capital Chengdu have been forced to halt operations, while millions of people in another city, Dazhou, grapple with power cuts.
“The hot and muggy weather has pushed the city’s power supply for production and daily life to the limit,” the Chengdu urban management government said in a statement on social media today. Thursday.
Faced with “the most severe situation”, the city – home to more than 20 million people – ordered the shutdown of landscape lighting and outdoor advertising lights in a notice issued on Tuesday, the statement said. .
Building nameplates will also be darkened.
And Chengdu metro said in a video on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform that it would also turn off advertising lights and “optimize” temperatures in stations to save energy.
Photos circulating on Weibo show dim lights on subway platforms, footpaths and in shopping malls, with people walking in partial darkness.
The intense heat is also drying up the vital Yangtze River, with its main stream about 51% lower than the average over the past five years, state media outlet China News Service reported. on Thursday.
Sichuan’s electricity woes could also affect the broader Chinese economy – the province is a major supplier of the energy generated by hydroelectricity, including to eastern industrial powers like Jiangsu. and Zhejiang.
China is battling severe weather on multiple fronts, with 17 people killed in flash floods in the northwest of the country on Thursday following torrential rains.
Meanwhile, weather authorities in the eastern province of Jiangsu warned drivers of the risk of tire punctures on Friday as surface temperatures of some roads are poised to reach 68 degrees Celsius. .
The China Meteorological Administration earlier said the country was experiencing its longest sustained period of high temperatures since records began in 1961.
Severe weather around the world has become more frequent due to climate change, scientists say, and urgent global cooperation is needed to slow the impending disaster.
The two largest emitters in the world are the United States and China.
But earlier this month, Beijing announced a freeze on cooperation with Washington on global warming in protest of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.