Taiwan Swelters in Record June Temperatures

Record high temperatures for June has brought the risk of brownouts as Taiwan’s electricity grid strains to keep up with demand.

In Taipei, the weather bureau recorded 37.9 degrees Celsius at 12:54, marking the previous record temperature for June previously reached in 1954 and 2001. At 13:34, the temperature measured 38.2.

The municipal government instituted road sprinkling operations using recycled water to cool asphalt on city roads. Taipei City EPA said the asphalt can reach 50 degrees, and sprinkling can reduce the temperature by 10 degrees.

A road sprinkler cools the asphalt in Taipei City
A road sprinkler sprays a road in Taipei City as temperatures soared to record highs for the month of June, on the first day of June, 2016. Photo: UDN

In Taitung (Taidong), the temperature at noon broke 38 degrees, measuring the highest temperature so far this year as foehn winds blasted hot air at the south-east coast. The Bureau of Agriculture urged farmers to try to cool crops, especially green, leafy vegetables.

A man fries an egg on the road in Taitung
A resident of Taitung, Taiwan fries an egg on the asphalt as temperatures soared, June 1, 2016. Photo: CNA

Executive Yuan spokesman Tong Zhenyuan urged people to maintain air-conditioning temperatures at 26-28 degrees, and to wear lighter clothing to work and school to help reduce carbon emissions and the strain on the country’s electricity grid, which the past couple of days has reached critical levels, bringing the threat of brownouts as indicators flashed red and spare capacity came down to a level of 1.28%.

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