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Big crowd defies heat

DRESSED in sun tops, skirts and shorts, more than 300,000 visitors unafraid of yesterday's scorching sun wandered around the World Expo site on the hottest day since the event opened on May 1.

It was the first time the Expo site experienced both hot weather and a big visitor flow.

Umbrellas and sunshades were set up to provide shelter, and sprayers at some popular sites started working earlier than usual to cool people off.

Visitors at the site all received a short message on their cell phones saying it would be 30 degrees Celsius and reminding them to guard against sunburn and heat stroke.

At 10:30am, the thermometer above the Future of City in the Puxi section showed it was 26 degrees Celsius, usually a day's high temperature. But it did not stop streams of visitors who had armed themselves well - wearing sunglasses and caps.

Most of the 200-plus pavilions turned on air conditioning yesterday, and in front of drinking sites, people holding empty bottles lined up to collect water. Expo officials said last week that they will set up more drinking sites as it gets hotter.

At 5pm, the mercury was still at 30 degrees. Ice cream and bottled beverages were doing great business. At a stand for drinks in Puxi section, vendors were selling twice as much bottled water as usual. And the sales of ice cream at a nearby stand increased 20 to 30 percent.

A family from Shantou City in Guangdong Province said they are used to hot weather and pleased with various facilities at the site to help control the temperature. They said they planned to visit the site three more times.

But a woman from Shanxi Province, who was unwilling to reveal her name, said it was too hot, and it was hard to stand when queuing for popular pavilions of Japan and Spain. She spent five hours under the sun to enter the two pavilions. Though she could not think of a solution, she hoped "there could be one."

According to the weather forecast, the high temperature in next few days is expected to stay around 30 degrees Celsius.


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