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As Shanghai Sizzles, Expo still the Hottest Attraction

updated: 2010-07-19

On Sunday, around 474,000 people braved the heat to visit the Shanghai World Expo, bringing the total number of visitors to the Shanghai event so far to more than 29 million.

The hot weather is expected to continue throughout this week with temperatures climbing above 35 degrees Celsius, according to the city's weather bureau.

Zhang Ruiyi, a chief service officer at the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, said the duration and intensity of sunshine in the city would increase noticeably this week under the influence of a subtropical high.

The city would experience hot and sunny days for a period with the end of the plum rain season and maximum temperatures would range between 34 and 36 degrees.

Today is forecast to be sunny to cloudy with a low of 27 degrees and a high of 35. The forecast for tomorrow is sunny to cloudy with temperatures expected to hit 36 degrees.

Sunday a temperature of 35.2 degrees was recorded downtown.

The weather bureau issued a yellow heat alert, lowest of the three-level system, at 1:50 p.m. warning that temperatures would exceed 35 degrees.

The bureau said the yellow heat alert was issued earlier, at 1:35 p.m., at the Expo site to warn visitors of the danger of heatstroke and to encourage them to stay in the shade.

Many points at the Expo site recorded more than 36 degrees at around 2:00 p.m., but visitors were well prepared.

Many were seen with umbrellas, towels and fans to fight the heat. They also took refuge in air-conditioned places such as shops, the underground station of the Metro's Line 13, restaurants and medical stations.

"It is better than we have expected probably because we have prepared well," said Jerry Wang, a university student from Zhejiang Province. He escaped the heat by heading for the Metro station on the Expo site at around 1pm.

"We have followed instructions about fighting the heat from the radio and also searched for all the shaded areas in the site just in case. We are just going to hide here during the hottest period."

Wang and his friends had brought handheld electric fans and sun cream with them. They also found the mist spray system cooling and a source of amusement. The site's spray systems have proved a welcome attraction for many.

There was a noticeable increase in the number of visitors who choose to enter the site after 5pm yesterday to avoid the heat. Around 30,000 visitors entered the site after 5pm.

To satisfy demand for night tickets, organizers have extended the hours of sale from 8pm to 8:50pm. Visitors have to enter before 9pm.

Since the Expo opened, organizers have added nearly 100,000 square meters of shaded areas along with more fans and mist spray systems.

Large ice blocks are provided when the temperature reaches 35 degrees. Organizers are planning to give out free fans and start selling green bean soup, a traditional dish said to help eliminate heat from the body.

The Japan Pavilion has added a dozen fans for the benefit of queueing visitors.

The five medical stations at the site had received a total of 456 patients by 4pm, about the same as usual.

One in Zone B, run by the Renji Hospital, treated around 30 people suffering from sunstroke, about 30 percent more than in previous days.


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