Heat wave turns Xin­jiang into ‘BBQ’

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By CUI JIA in Urumqi cui­jia@chi­nadaily.com.cn

As a heat wave con­tin­ues to scorch North­west China’s Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion, which has topped the list of the hottest places in China for more than a week, Xin­jiang peo­ple said the dif­fer­ence be­tween them and a steak thrown on a bar­be­cue is a pinch of salt.

“You can lit­er­ally feel your skin siz­zling un­der the sun. My wife re­minded me to bring salt and pep­per with me and ro­tate­my­self prop­erly so I can be roasted evenly. I know she was just jok­ing, but it’s been too hot for too long,” said Wang Liyuan, an Urumqi res­i­dent. The tem­per­a­ture in the re­gional cap­i­tal of Urumqi reached a record 41 C onWed­nes­day.

On Wed­nes­day, the Xin­jiang Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Depart­ment is­sued red heat warn­ings to cities around the re­gion for the sev­enth day. Peo­ple in seven of the 16 ma­jor cities in the re­gion ex­pe­ri­enced tem­per­a­tures over 40 C onWed­nes­day.

Red rep­re­sents the most se­vere weather in a four-tier color-coded weather warn­ing sys­tem, fol­lowed by or­ange, yel­low and blue. Un­der the red alert, out­door work should be sus­pended due to the risk of heat­stroke.

Ac­cord­ing to the China Cen­tral Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Sta­tion’s web­site, the top six hottest places in China in the af­ter­noon were all in Xin­jiang. Tur­pan city in Tur­pan pre­fec­ture, also known as the “fire state”, topped the chart with tem­per­a­tures reach­ing 46 C onWed­nes­day.

The “bar­be­cue mode” in Xin­jiang will last un­til the end of the week, ac­cord­ing to the lo­cal me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal depart­ment.

Sun­ing, a leader in the home ap­pli­ances in­dus­try, has sent 100 me­chan­ics to Xin­jiang to in­stall air con­di­tion­ers in the re­gion.

Although the heat has been a bur­den on peo­ple in Xin­jiang, some have seized a hot busi­ness op­por­tu­nity.

Chen Ji­aqi, from Guangzhou in South China’s Guang­dong province, runs an online store selling a spray that can help peo­ple cool down dur­ing the heat. Sales of the spray­have in­creased more than 30 per­cent since the heat wave hitXin­jiang, and­most of the new buy­ers are from the re­gion.

“A guy from Xin­jiang said he wanted to be my agent there to sell the spray,” Chen said on Wed­nes­day. “It’s hard to imag­ine liv­ing in a place that is 46 C, and it’s kind of scary.”

ZHANG WANDE / FOR CHINA DAILY

A 11-month-old baby sits in a home­made bath­tub in Urumqi, the Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion, on Tues­day.

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