China has issued a red alert for heat – the highest in its colour-coded alert system – for northern parts of the country after Beijing recorded its hottest-ever June day.
According to international media reports, some 185 red alerts were issued for northern and eastern China, including Beijing, the nearby city of Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei and Shandong.
It is the first time since 2014 that the red alert has been used in Beijing, home to nearly 22 million people, according to government weather services.
The temperature in the capital was hovering at about 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), after reaching a June record of 41.1C (106F) on Thursday.
The previous June high dated from June 10, 1961, when the temperature hit 40.6C (105F).
Beijing residents are accustomed to sweltering summers but temperatures across China have been unusually high in recent months, with scientists saying the heat is being exacerbated by climate change.
In the coastal province of Shandong, which borders the Yellow Sea, the temperature reached 43C (109F) on Thursday, according to China’s meteorological service.