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7/26/2007

Death toll grows as heat sizzles to record

Breaking Earth News
Hong Kong
The heatwave has continued to take its toll, with two deaths and more than a dozen people falling ill in the past few days, and the temperature soaring to a record high on southern Hong Kong Island.
According to the Hong Kong Observatory, the temperature hit a record high of 38 degrees Celsius at Repulse Bay on Hong Kong Island yesterday, while temperatures of above 36 degrees Celsius were recorded in parts of northern New Territories.
The highest temperature on record was 36.1 degrees, which was registered on August 19, 1900, and August 18, 1990.


HEATWAVE/DROUGHT



TAIWAN - Taitung County in eastern Taiwan has been hit hard by the MOST SERIOUS DROUGHT IN 30 YEARS, leaving government officials scratching their heads trying to find water to save crops. Officials said Wednesday that although they have diverted water from four streams in the county to help farmers, the volume of water still falls short of what farmers need to begin second-stage rice planting, and more than 50 percent of the tea crop has already withered. Taitung County has not had its usual share of rain since early this year. Citing an example, they noted that the county's Chihshang township, one of Taiwan's main centers for producing organic rice, has recorded a total rainfall of only 258 mm thus far this year - less than one third of the normal amount - and that the expected plum rain season between May and July has never appeared. Now water wells in Chihshang township are running dry, something local residents say they have not seen in 60 years.

TURKEY is facing a new heat wave coming in from the Balkans and the middle Mediterranean region. Temperatures are expected to rise by 2 to 4 degrees Celsius across the country, with meteorologists predicting the thermometer to rise over 40 C in western Turkey. In particular, experts say the heat will be at its peak at 5 p.m. The whole country is experiencing ONE OF ITS HOTTEST SUMMERS SINCE RECORDS BEGAN. Temperatures are already 8 to 10 degrees above seasonal norms. The same problem is being experienced throughout the Balkans and southeast Europe, leaving no one untouched by the extreme weather. The western and Aegean regions of Turkey are already being hit by the new heat wave. In Ýstanbul, the mercury is predicted to shoot to 40 degrees, but coupled with a 60-percent humidity rate it will feel much higher. In the Aegean region, the temperatures are expected to range between 38 and 44 degrees. The highest temperatures observed in Turkey yesterday: 43 in Edirne, 41 in Kýrklareli, 40 in Balýkesir. Forests in Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece have been ravaged by flames this week, blamed on record-high temperatures after the dry winter.
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