Feeling the heat? No wonder. This month has already seen the most 'very hot' days - when the temperature has soared past 33 degrees Celsius - of any August for more than 30 years. And it's not over yet. By yesterday the Observatory had recorded 10 such days since August 1 - equalling the number for August 1974 - with similar conditions predicted until the end of the month. There has only been one August that has had more very hot days since records began to be kept in 1885 - in 1962, when there were 15. Overall this month has been hotter and dryer than usual, with an average temperature as of Wednesday of 29.3 degrees, 0.9 degrees above normal, and rainfall of 331.2mm, 113.4mm below the August average. It was part of a pattern of hot, dry weather affecting southern China, with some cities reporting the most very hot days for 50 years while drought and water shortages afflicted a wide area. The Observatory said a weak ridge of high pressure today would again bring fine and very hot weather with light winds. The Senior Citizen Home Safety Association said 75 elderly people sought help yesterday and were admitted to hospital reporting dizziness and heart problems. Mak Tak-ching, organising secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, said the hot weather was also dangerous to construction workers, with three dying of heatstroke since July. 'The hot weather adds to their misery as many of them do not have enough work,' he said. Mr Mak called for legislation to require mandatory breaks for construction workers in hot weather as many employers ignored the Labour Department's guidelines. A department spokeswoman said legislation would need careful consideration and assessment as the risk of heatstroke varied according to occupation and environment. The National Meteorological Centre said the number of very hot days in Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Guizhou and Chongqing had reached a 50-year record, with daily maximums since the middle of the month ranging from 35 to 40 degrees. It said the heatwave in the south would last for another month. State media said at least 60 per cent of Hunan was suffering a drought, which was also affecting Guangxi, Guizhou and Hubei, with nearly 60,000 people in four counties and cities in Hubei short of drinking water. Shenzhen Television said the number of patients with heatstroke or heat-related skin conditions had increased.