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August 2, 2010

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It's a scorcher on city's hottest day of the year

ATTENDANCE dropped sharply to about 315,600 people at the World Expo yesterday on the hottest day of the year.

The number of visitors was about 125,000 fewer than the day before and such a low turnout hasn't been seen for about two months.

Attendance may stay relatively low during the next few days as the heat wave will continue, according to the weathermen.

The weekly forecast calls for mainly cloudy weather with showers in the afternoon while the mercury could top 38 degrees in the next three days, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year at 38.6 degrees. It was also the city's 12th high-temperature day, when the mercury reaches at least 35 degrees.

An orange heat alert, the second highest of a three-level system, was raised at 9:05am, warning residents the temperature would reach 39 degrees.

The heat alert was not lowered until 7:25pm, when the temperature dropped below 35 degrees.

Several downtown hospitals also reported that outpatients increased 20 to 30 percent during the past couple of days. Hospitals said there has been an increase in the number of seniors and children. Many of the outpatients were diagnosed with a cold, heart discomfort or diarrhea.

"The difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures is big and this is the main reason for the increase in outpatients," said Zhu Kaiyuan, a doctor at No.10 People's Hospital.

The number of heatstroke patients did not increase, according to hospitals.

At the Expo, more than 700 blocks of ice, about 2 meters long and 20 centimeters thick, were placed near waiting areas yesterday to help cool down visitors.


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