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Amid record heat wave, Chinese planes fire rods into sky to cause rain

As China reels under a massive heatwave with water levels dropping to a record high in the Yangtze River, reports say authorities have deployed planes to fire silver iodide rods into the sky to ensure rain.

Authorities say large parts of the Yangtze River have also dried up as officials battle drought conditions. China’s Ministry of Water Resources said the dry spell had “negatively” affected drinking water security in rural areas, with crops and livestock severely affected.

Also Read: The Yangtze River Is Narrowing; factories close as drought hits hydropower

China’s Hubei province also said it would use cloud-seeking aircraft to induce precipitation.

Chinese cities have been battling heat waves since last month, with Zhejiang and Fujian provinces hit hard, with Shanghai recording its highest temperature of 40.9 degrees Celsius.

Watch: China’s Sichuan closes all factories to save electricity

Reports say at least five million people are facing power shortages due to the heatwave with temperatures soaring in Sichuan province with reservoirs drying up due to the extreme heat.

Factories in Sichuan have also been hit due to the electricity crisis with Toyota halting work as the government ordered companies to prioritize electricity in residential areas. Several other cities have been ordered to suspend industrial production as the country struggles to contain the endemic heatwave. Reports claim that water levels in Sichuan rivers have dropped by at least 20-50%.

The Yangtze River was also badly affected, affecting agricultural production. Reports claim that authorities will increase the water flow from the Three Gorges Dam while releasing 500 million cubic meters over the next ten days.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 10:39am on Saturday August 27th, 2022