Eighty-three people have died and another 1,500 have been hospitalized in a heat wave that has smothered the eastern Chinese city of Nanking for 10 days, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The report quoted Zhu Qingxue, director of the city public health bureau, as saying four-fifths of those who died were over age 60.

It said temperatures in the city have hovered around 102 degrees in the third-hottest heat spell since 1905. On Monday, the high reached 100 degrees in the city of 3 million.

Roads have been melting, factories have been told to cut back on electricity consumption and hospitals have been asked to set up rescue centers, Xinhua said.