The southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan downgraded emergency energy supply measures last week, restoring power to some factories after weeks of rolling blackouts due to a heatwave-driven shortage.

Weeks of record temperatures above 104o F and a crippling drought strained hydropower generators throughout the region. Rain has increased and temperatures moderated, reducing the energy crisis. “Reservoir water levels are gradually increasing, and the power supply capacity has improved,” the Sichuan government announced last week, adding that the power supply crisis had been “alleviated to a certain extent.”

The region is home to major auto manufacturers, including Toyota in Sichuan and Honda in Chongqing, which said they resumed operations Monday. Apple iPhone manufacturer Foxconn also restarted work at its Sichuan plant, Nikkei reported.

State broadcaster CCTV reported last week that the “general industrial and commercial power consumption in Sichuan province has been fully restored,” adding that energy-intensive industries would resume production once hydropower reservoir levels rose further.

Southern China has recorded its longest continuous period of high temperatures since records began more than 60 years ago, forcing power cuts that have hit the agricultural sector particularly hard.

Power shortages also forced malls in parts of Sichuan and Chongqing to shorten their opening hours, while landscape and subway lighting was switched off, and some households experienced rolling blackouts.

For additional details, read the full MSN article here.