The highest temperature overall was recorded in the eastern city of Fenghua, which recorded its historic high of 42.7 degrees (108.9 F) on July 24.
On Tuesday, the director of the China Meteorological Administration activated a “level 2″ emergency response to the persistent heat wave. This level requires around-the-clock staffing, the establishment of an emergency command center and frequent briefings.
Some Chinese in heat-stricken cities have been cooking shrimps, eggs and bacon in skillets placed directly on manhole covers or on road pavement that has in some cases heated up to 60 degrees C (140 F).
In one photo displayed prominently in the China Daily newspaper, a boy tended to shrimps and an egg in a pan over a manhole cover in eastern Chinese city of Jinan.
In the port city of Ningbo in Zhejiang province, glass has cracked in the heat, vehicles have self-combusted, and a highway billboard caught fire by itself, sending up black smoke in the air, according to China Central Television. The broadcaster said the heat might have shorted an electrical circuit on the billboard.
In the southern province of Hunan, a housewife grabbed several eggs stored at room temperature only to find half-hatched chicks, state media reported.
A joke making the rounds: The only difference between me and barbequed meat is a little bit of cumin.