Tourists flock to a water resort at Dead Sea in Daying county, Suining city, Southwest China's Sichuan province, July 11, 2015. More than 8,000 people squashed into the 30,000-square-meter pool as temperatures reached 35 degrees Celsius. Chinese netizens joked the crowded scene looked like "boiling dumplings". (Photo/CFP)
Scorching heat has gripped parts of China as the country enters the height of summer.
The meteorological bureau of Beijing said temperatures in the city reached their highest of the year on Monday.
As of 2 p.m., temperatures in most of Beijing had risen to between 37and 39 degrees Celsius, and some areas downtown saw temperatures exceeding 42 degrees Celsius.
The city has been hit by a heat wave since Saturday, with temperatures soaring to more than 35 degrees Celsius for three consecutive days.
The bureau said temperatures will drop to around 36 degrees Celsius on Tuesday with temporary thunderstorms and increased cloud cover. The heat wave is expected to come to an end Wednesday with temperatures dropping to 30 degrees Celsius.
The meteorological bureau of neighboring Tianjin Municipality said temperatures in the city reached as high as 39 degrees Celsius on Monday. High temperatures are expected to continue on Tuesday.
The city's streets had fewer pedestrians and cars than usual, and some construction sites have stopped work.
In a construction site in Nankai District, a worker surnamed Zhu said, "It has been too hot these days. It is especially unbearable after lunch, when the skin burns under the sun. I have been sweating all over, even without working."
In east China's Jiangxi Province, temperatures in several cities including Nanchang, Yichun and Xinyu rose to more than 37 degrees Celsius on Monday.
The provincial meteorological center said temperatures will cool on Wednesday, when rain is expected to hit parts of the province.
Some manufacturing companies in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, have arranged paid leave for employees due to hot weather.
Temperatures in the city reached 31 degrees Celsius on Monday. Meteorological authorities said the temperatures will linger above 30 degrees Celsius over the next five days.
The National Meteorological Center (NMC) on Sunday issued an alert for high temperatures, forecasting that a heat wave will hit central, eastern and northern China on Monday with temperatures in some regions rising to around 40 degrees Celsius.