Lightning left 141 people dead in China last month, the highest
monthly death toll since records began in 2000, according to the
China Meteorological Administration (CMA).
On Wednesday Song Lianchun, CMA spokesman and head of the CMA
disaster forecast and relief department, reported that this year
China had been hit by increasingly frequent and severe lightning.
Hail and cyclones have also been rising.
This August two to three tropical storms or typhoons are likely
to make landfall in coastal areas, Song added.
He urged local meteorological branches to closely monitor and
accurately forecast all possible severe weather conditions this
month in a bid to minimize loss of life and property.
Meanwhile, some regions in China are experiencing the hottest
weather in more than a century. Temperatures in Fuzhou, the capital
of the southeastern coastal province of Fujian, have exceeded 35 degrees centigrade
for more than 30 straight days. This is the longest run of high
temperatures since 1880.
On Wednesday the CMA and the Chinese Center for Disease
Prevention and Control issued this year's first heat wave forecast,
predicting that temperatures in many parts of the country may pass
35 degrees centigrade on Thursday.
Song blamed global warming and abnormal weather patterns for the
(Xinhua News Agency August 2, 2007)