Beijing orders outdoor work to be halted as scorching summer heat soars

Government departments ordered to ensure the elderly and ill could stay cool after the city of 22 million people issued a red alert

By AP

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A security guard wearing an electric fan on his neck wipes his sweat on a hot day in Beijing, Monday, July 3, 2023.  – AP
A security guard wearing an electric fan on his neck wipes his sweat on a hot day in Beijing, Monday, July 3, 2023. – AP

Published: Thu 6 Jul 2023, 10:20 AM

Employers in Beijing were ordered Thursday by the government to stop outdoor work after scorching summer heat in the Chinese capital was forecast to reach 40 degrees centigrade (104 Fahrenheit).

Government departments were ordered to ensure the elderly and ill could stay cool after the city of 22 million people issued a “red alert,” the highest level of a warning system for extreme temperatures.


The government reported on Monday that Beijing recorded 10 days of temperatures above 35 C (95 F), the longest streak of its kind since 1961.

“Relevant departments and units shall take emergency measures for heatstroke prevention and cooling,” said a city government notice. It told employers to “stop outdoor operations.”


At the same time, flooding has forced thousands of people to flee their homes in southern China.

The government on Wednesday issued an alert for possible flash flooding in Inner Mongolia in the north, Heilongjiang in the northeast and Tibet and Sichuan in the southwest.

People are enduring torrid temperatures across much of the globe. The Earth’s average temperature remained at a record high Wednesday, after two days in which the planet reached unofficial records. It’s the latest marker in a series of climate-change-driven extremes.


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