Chengdu citizens play mahjong in river to cope with scorching heatwave sweeping China

As many as 21 provinces and regions in China are baking from a heatwave that has seen ground temperatures of up to 50 deg C.
As many as 21 provinces and regions in China are baking from a heatwave that has seen ground temperatures of up to 50 deg C.PHOTO: SINA WEIBO
As many as 21 provinces and regions in China are baking from a heatwave that has seen ground temperatures of up to 50 deg C.
As many as 21 provinces and regions in China are baking from a heatwave that has seen ground temperatures of up to 50 deg C.PHOTO: SINA WEIBO

To cope with a heatwave currently sweeping through parts of China, some people in Chengdu city have been playing mahjong in a river.

Photos of the people in the city, in China's south-western Sichuan province, have been posted online by Chinese media outlets and on social media, prompting amusement from netizens.

Photos show them sitting on chairs at tables, with umbrellas providing shade.

Some of them are ankle-deep in water flowing from a river as they mull over mahjong tiles.

Temperatures in Chengdu started soaring last week, Chinanews.com reported on Friday (July 14).

Chinese news site ifeng.com said rain was scarce in recent weeks.

The Straits Times reported earlier this week that as many as 21 provinces and regions in China are baking from a heatwave that has seen ground temperatures of up to 50 deg C.

Maximum temperatures in 31 counties and cities in Xinjiang, Ningxia, Gansu, Shaanxi and Sichuan have hit record highs.

Online, some netizens were amused at the photos.

Alan Tan wrote on Facebook that the people were "very clever".

However, others, like Facebook user Nelson Ting, found it unhygienic.

"Don't pollute the water," he wrote, to which another user said: "It's my first time hearing that playing mahjong can pollute the environment."

Another commenter, Dai Bosi, agreed with Mr Ting.

"Those lower in the river will drink their smelly-feet water, gross!" She wrote.

Sarah Chen wrote: "Haha there's nothing much that can stop Sichuan people from playing mahjong."