Shanghai's Bund to go dark as China heatwave prompts power cuts
Shanghai will switch off decorative lights along its famed Bund riverfront for two days from Monday (Aug 22) as a nationwide heatwave sends power demands soaring, city authorities said.
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Multiple provinces have announced power cuts to cope with a surge in demand, driven partly by people cranking up the air conditioning to cope with temperatures as high as 45 degrees Celsius.
China has been hit by extreme weather this summer, including record temperatures, flash floods and droughts - phenomena that scientists have warned are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change.
To save power, Shanghai authorities said in a notice on Sunday that they would switch off "landscape lighting" at the Bund, the city's most famous landmark.
Ornamental lights, billboards and video screens on both sides of the Huangpu River would be turned off on Monday and Tuesday, according to the notice.
The heatwave has reduced stretches of the Yangtze River, China's most vital inland waterway, to unprecedented drought levels, according to official data.
That has resulted in high pressure on hydroelectric plants that supply power to some of the country's key economic zones.
They include Sichuan, where authorities on Sunday extended industrial power cuts and activated their highest level of emergency response to deal with the heatwave.