Residents all around China are suffering severe effects as a result of a record-breaking heat wave that has been going on for 70 straight days. In addition to the heat, there has been extreme dryness, which has led to historical drought conditions in some areas, notably the Yangtze River Valley.
In the municipality of Chongqing in southwest China, parts of the Yangtze River have receded so considerably that ancient sculptures from the Ming and Qing periods have been unearthed. An oblong stone that once jutted out of the Foyeliang island reef, which was once submerged in the Yangtze River, today has three ancient Buddhist statues.
Based on an examination of the statues’ designs, experts estimate that they were carved about 600 years ago. Buddhism flourished in China throughout the Ming era, which lasted from 1368 to 1644, and was ingrained into everyday life.
It is not the first time that underwater Buddha statues have been found in China. A different Buddha carving was discovered in China’s Jiangxi Province in 2017, according to Xinhua. The Ming Dynasty was found to be the statue’s original period of origin. Locals told Xinhua that they thought the Buddha was carved there so that people may pray for safety as they navigated the waterways because it was situated at the confluence of two rivers where boats frequently capsized.
On August 19, the China Meteorological Administration issued its first annual national drought alert in response to the Yangtze River’s low water levels and worries about severe water shortages.
“In the Yangtze River Valley, rainfall has been below average since May. This is a result of the region’s ongoing ridging since July, which has caused numerous heat waves “said Jason Nicholls, Lead International Forecaster for AccuWeather.
This summer, a local media station in Sichuan reported to The Guardian that there has been a 25% increase in the demand for power. Residents have turned up the air conditioning because of the high temperatures and the protracted heat wave, which has significantly increased energy demand.
Since June, temperatures have been on average around 5 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) above average, according to forecasters.
According to a statement from the province government of Sichuan, the water flow to the local reservoirs has been cut in half. Hydropower-related problems have trickled down from Sichuan to the municipalities of Chongqing City and the Hubei Province.
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The province last week halted or restricted the power supply to thousands of factories and the general public due to the scarcity. Production will resume this coming week, according to the plans.
According to AccuWeather projections, the heat wave might not end until mid- to late next week.
Tuesday will see a continuation of the present hot wave in these places, according to Nicholls. As the ridge of high pressure starts to dissipate, temperatures will start to trend colder starting on Wednesday.
Additionally, it is anticipated that there will be more rain in the region in the coming days, which will lessen the effects of the drought.
Nicholls said, “A stalled front can bring some much-needed rain to the area Friday through early next week.”
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