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China issues highest heat alert for almost 70 cities in second heatwave this month

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Hong Kong (CNN) Severe heat warnings were issued for almost 70 Chinese cities, where temperatures were expected to exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) Monday, according to the China Meteorological Administration.

Another 393 Chinese cities and counties were forecast to swelter in temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) and above, the administration added.

Temperatures in China have been rising faster than the global average and the latest heat wave has raised new concerns about the pace of global warming.

The latest heatwave, which is defined as periods of atypically hot weather lasting three days or more, is the second this month. Average daily temperatures are the highest since 1961, and on Sunday, 13 national weather stations in Zhejiang and Fujian provinces reached or surpassed local temperature records.

The National Meteorological Center’s Chief Forecaster, Fu Jiaolan said the latest heatwave is expected to be similar to one that lasted almost two weeks from July 5-17, according to state media. But this severe weather will likely impact more people as temperatures are expected to rise to the “red alert” level in more regions.

China operates a four-tier weather warning system, where red alerts indicate temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius or higher, orange for 35 degrees Celsius or higher, followed by yellow and blue.

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