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China issues nationwide warning as Shanghai suffers hottest July for 140 years

More than 10 people have died from heatstroke as temperatures soar to nearly 41C

Authorities in China have issued a first ever nationwide emergency “orange” level heat alert after more than 10 people died from sunstroke in Shanghai.

The city is suffering some of the worst effects of a wide-reaching heatwave, which has seen it experience the hottest July for 140 years.

The mercury has been at or above 35C for 24 days this month, and hit a peak of 40.6C, Shanghai’s highest-ever recorded temperature.

According to the BBC, state-run news agency Xinhua reported health officials as saying more than 10 people died after coming down with heatstroke, while journalists from Shanghai TV showed how hot it was by successfully frying a pork chop on a marble slab left in the sun.

Issuing “the first level two emergency response”, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) warned the public to: “avoid outdoor activities during the period of high temperature and take protective measures from heatstroke”.

The CMA offered little hope of relief from the stifling conditions, and said that across the Yangtze River valley the maximum temperature was forecast to stay over 35C until 8 August.