Aerial photographs show rescue workers evacuating residents on flooded roads after heavy rains in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China, on July 22, 2021. A photo taken with a drone.Reuters / Allie Song / File Photo

The deadly floods have killed at least 12 people in western China this weekend and continued to be hit by extreme weather this summer, disrupting power and communications infrastructure.

Floods occurred in provinces such as Sichuan and Zhejiang, even though scorching temperatures caused heat stroke-related deaths. Last week, more than 70 meteorological stations across the country recorded record temperatures. Factories are required to reduce peak electricity consumption in order to ensure that the temperature is high enough to cool the occupants.

State support that 11 centimeters (4 inches) of rain along the Sichuan-Gansu border at the beginning of Saturday caused floods and landslides, killing 12 people and leaving 12 more missing. The Global Times reported. According to a report quoted by the Central Widespread Television Bureau, power and telephone lines were cut off and more than 40,000 people were affected by the flood.

Floods are nothing new in China. In China, efforts to tame the country’s mighty rivers date back thousands of years. Still, the storms are intensifying as global warming brings more extreme weather. Scientists have found evidence that the atmosphere can retain 7% more water at every Celsius of global warming.
In the scorching heat, Zhejiang’s polyester and textile mills have reduced power during peak hours so that sufficient supply is available for their cooling needs. This reduction is sufficient to reduce production by as much as 15%, according to the industry magazine Polyolefin People. According to the publication, power reductions were also reported at the Foxconn facility in Chengdu.

So far, the turmoil has been small compared to the massive outages that affected most of the country last fall due to coal shortages. The nationwide supply of fuel is now plentiful as demand slowed earlier this year due to the pandemic blockade. The current round of reductions is due to a sudden surge in the use of air conditioners that pushes electricity demand beyond the maximum power generation capacity of the local grid.

According to Shanghai Securities News, one weather problem could solve another, and heavy rains from Sichuan could move east and relieve the heat.

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