Chinese employers ordered to limit outdoor work as country struggles with heat, flooding and drought #Chinese #employers #ordered #limit #outdoor #work #country #struggles #heat #flooding #drought

BEIJING (AP) — Rescuers were looking Monday for seven people missing in a landslide triggered by torrential rains while employers across much of China were ordered to limit outdoor work due to scorching temperatures as the country struggled with heat, flooding and drought.

Rescuers were looking for survivors of a landslide Saturday that buried a highway construction site and killed at least one person in the central city of Yichang in Hubei province. Five people were injured, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the executive deputy mayor of Yichang, Ye Yang.

Elsewhere, the weather agency issued an orange alert, its second-highest-level warning, for heat across southern China and much of the north and northeast.

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Temperatures above 40 C (104 F) were forecast in Beijing, the capital, and across central China to the southeastern coast. Heat above 37 to 39 C (99 to 102 F) was forecast in parts of populous Sichuan province in the southwest. Elsewhere, temperatures above 35 C (95 F) were expected in most of northern China, the rest of Sichuan and much of the south.

The orange alert requires employers to make outdoor work as brief as possible. Despite that, delivery workers for restaurants and online retailers still were working.

Two heat-related deaths were reported earlier in Beijing. A tour guide collapsed last weekend at the Summer Palace, an imperial-era garden. A woman died last month from heat stroke.

The agriculture ministry warned Sunday that persistent hot weather could damage rice harvests. They said local authorities should ensure rice paddies have adequate water to prevent premature ripening of the crop.

Elsewhere, tens of thousands of people who were driven out of their homes by flooding have moved to shelters in northern, central and southeastern China.

Some areas including populous Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, on Sunday issued a red alert, the highest-level temperature warning. That requires employers to stop outdoor work and orders local authorities to make preparations to protect the public.

Residents of some cities have moved into underground air raid shelters for relief from the heat.

Earth’s average temperature set a new unofficial record high Thursday, the third such milestone in the hottest week on record.

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