Metro stations in Sichuan province’s capital city Chengdu have dimmed their lights to save electricity, leaving some travellers in partial darkness as China grapples with power crunch amid a record heatwave, the media reported.
The rail system of southwestern city of Chengdu, home to about 21 million people, started operating on “power-saving” mode from Wednesday, activating low-power lights and regulating temperatures in stations and train compartments, its operator said in a statement, without specifying how long the measures would last, CNN reported.
Photos circulating on social media showed commuters waiting for trains on dimly lit platforms and transiting through darkened stations — a sharp contrast to the bright fluorescent lighting and illuminated advertising typical of China’s public transport stations, CNN reported.
The energy-saving measures are among many being rolled out amid a power shortage caused by China’s fiercest regional heatwave in six decades.
Sizzling temperatures above 40-degree Celsius have hit dozens of cities across parts of southwest, central and eastern China, and surging demand for air conditioning is putting pressure on the power grid, CNN reported.
The power crisis has been compounded by a drought, as depleted water levels in the Yangtze River, one of China’s most commercially important waterways, and connected water bodies, have reduced the amount of electricity produced at hydropower plants.
Top provincial officials warned Sichuan is facing the “most severe and extreme moment” in power supply, Sichuan Daily reported.