Famous Shanghai skyline go dark as power cut hits

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Image Source: TravelPast 50

Officials say that an iconic skyline in the Chinese city of Shanghai, called “The Bund” will not be lit for two nights to save power. 

The waterfront area is a popular tourist destination known for its mix of historic and futuristic buildings. 

Major manufacturers in the Sichuan province told the BBC that power cuts had hit them.

A record-breaking heatwave is happening while large parts of the world’s second-largest economy are going through a severe drought.

In a notice on Sunday, the Shanghai Landscaping and City Appearance Administrative Bureau said buildings in the Bund, which are located along the city’s largest river, will not be lit on Monday and Tuesday.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” it said in the notice.

China’s first national drought alert of the year came out last week after places like Shanghai in the Yangtze Delta and Sichuan in the southwest had been very hot for weeks.

The “yellow alert” is the third most severe level on the official scale.

Officials in the Sichuan province, where temperatures have exceeded 40 °C (104 °F), said in a recent statement that rising temperatures and low rainfall, along with increased demand for air conditioning, had caused the power shortages. 

According to media reports, the province has extended its power saving measures by five days to Thursday. These limit the power supply to some industrial businesses.

Companies affected by the Shanghai blackout

German carmaker Volkswagen told the BBC that its factory in Chengdu, which is the capital of Sichuan, remains shut.

A Volkswagen spokesperson said that the company expects a “slight delay” in deliveries, which it hopes to make up for “soon.”

Apple supplier Foxconn, which also shut its plant in Sichuan, said the impact on its production was currently “insignificant.”

In the meantime, Toyota, the largest automaker in the world, told the BBC that it was “generating power on its own” to start making cars again in Sichuan slowly.

Chenyu Wu, an associate analyst for China and North Asia at the consulting firm Control Risks, says that the effects of power outages are likely to be temporary.

“Local initiatives to save electricity and improve generation are likely to help ameliorate the power deficit scenario in the coming weeks,” he said, especially if the hot, humid weather finally breaks.

Read also: Shanghai neighborhoods return to lockdown 

The government has taken steps to make it rain in central and southwest China, where the country is experiencing its longest heatwave on record.

Local media say that Hubei and a few other provinces have shot rockets with chemicals into the sky to try to stop the drought around the Yangtze River, Asia’s longest river.

However, attempts to do the same in some places have been halted due to a lack of cloud cover.