SHANGHAI, July 4 (Reuters) - The northern Chinese province of Hebei issued an extreme heat 'red alert' on Thursday, with temperatures set to soar beyond 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in its major cities and putting the area's corn crop at risk, the local government said.
China's weather bureau on Tuesday said that climate change could cause more extreme weather events, with rainfall breaking records in some regions and as many as 40 weather stations this year already registering their hottest temperatures ever.
The government of Hebei said on its official website that the cities of Baoding, Shijiazhuang, Hengshui, Cangzhou, Xingtai and Handan were all expected to see temperatures above 40C on Thursday.
The local weather bureau also warned that the extreme heat and drought in the province were likely to affect its corn crop. Hebei, which surrounds the capital Beijing, is among China's biggest producers of the grain.
Rainfall in the province has declined 23.9% compared to the average in the second quarter of 2019, the local Hebei Daily reported.
Cities in Hebei have been deploying sprinklers mounted on trucks to try to keep temperatures down, putting further pressure on water supplies.
A heat wave that has swept across northern China, including the capital Beijing, is expected to last until next week, the Hebei Daily said, citing the local weather bureau.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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