China’s Xinjiang warns of more floods, risk to cotton crop amid heatwaves

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Adds particulars on temperatures reaching 45.8C in Turpan, new report in Taizhou

SHANGHAI, July 23 (Reuters)China’s Xinjiang province on Saturday warned of more flash floods and mudslides and dangers to agriculture as heatwaves swept throughout the area, accelerating the tempo of glacial soften and posing hazards for its cotton manufacturing.

China has been baked by above-normal summer season warmth since June, with some meteorologists blaming local weather change. The excessively scorching climate has pushed up demand for electrical energy to cool properties, places of work and factories. In agricultural areas, drought has been a priority.

Xinjiang’s newest heatwaves have been significantly lengthy lasting and widespread, Chen Chunyan, chief professional on the Xinjiang Meteorological Observatory, advised state media.

She mentioned the intense climate within the south and east of the area, more than twice the scale of France, has already lasted for about 10 days.

Xinjiang’s meteorological bureau renewed its purple alert for the area – the best in a three-tier warmth warning system – on Saturday, forecasting temperatures in Kashgar, Hotan, Aksu, and Bazhou might exceed 40 levels Celsius (104 levels Fahrenheit) over the subsequent 24 hours.

“Continued high temperature has accelerated glacial melting in mountainous areas, and caused natural disasters such as flash floods, mudslides, and landslides in many places,” Chen mentioned.

The China Meteorological Administration mentioned a day earlier that the glacial melting in Xinjiang poses a excessive risk of dam failure on a tributary of the Aksu River close to China’s border with Kyrgyzstan.

Mostly recognized for its deserts, Xinjiang can also be residence to lengthy mountain ranges alongside its borders, together with the Tian Shan mountains, the Pamirs, the Kunlun mountains and the Karakoram, which have develop into more and more well-liked for Chinese vacationers amid COVID-19 restrictions on worldwide journey.

Temperatures within the oasis metropolis of Turpan hit 45.8C at 5 p.m. (0900 GMT).

Such heatwaves might additionally affect crops, particularly cotton, Chen mentioned.

Xinjiang accounts for manufacturing of about 20% of the world’s cotton, a water-thirsty crop.

The newest spherical of excessive temperatures has affected some 20 provinces. As of 5 p.m., 84 purple alerts have been in drive throughout China, principally in Xinjiang and the manufacturing provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian.

Temperatures within the metropolis of Taizhou, in Zhejiang, hit an all-time excessive of 43C on Saturday.

“The hot and sunny weather is expected to continue tomorrow (Sunday) and the day after,” state media quoted Taizhou’s meteorological bureau as saying.

(Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom and Ryan Woo; Editing by Sam Holmes)

((Ryan.Woo@thomsonreuters.com))

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