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Stay safe advisory in thunder

LOCAL weather authorities are warning Expo visitors not to touch steel pillars and to stay away from open spaces and trees to prevent being struck by lightening as the city enters a high storm and thunder season.

Huang Xiaohong, Shanghai Lightening Protection Center engineer, said yesterday lightning and thunder were likely to hit areas adjoining land and water, such as the Expo site.

He provided safety tips for visitors to prevent injury during the thundery weather.

He said once a thunder alert was issued by the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, visitors at the Expo site are suggested not to stand or walk along the river, not to hide under trees and not to walk on the elevated overpasses.

At the same time, the hyper electric buses will be banned from recharging, the bureau said.

Visitors could even be evacuated under extreme conditions, the bureau said without elaborating.

"If visitors are on the ferries or touring ships on the Huangpu River when the thunder hits, don't stay on the open decks," Huang suggested.

"The best way to avoid the thunder is to walk into the pavilions or the Expo Boulevard."

But he also advised visitors not to touch the steel pillars or lean on walls inside or outside the buildings, although all structures inside the Expo site had been checked for safety.

Using umbrellas with metallic tops is also advised against during thunderstorms.

Weather alerts

Meanwhile, the Expo site has adopted a new broadcast system to help advise visitors about the various weather alerts during the storm and flood season.

Zhou Hourong, deputy director of the Expo Site's meteorological station, said weather alerts and information would be broadcast through speakers on the site and sent to visitors' cell phones once the bureau issued a middle level alert.

LED screens inside pavilions would also highlight the alert information.

The color of the alerts, usually from blue to red, would also be shown on the top of the huge thermometer in the theme pavilion on the Puxi side.

The Expo authority is also confident about its site flood controls.

The drainage capacity is estimated to be 60 percent more than other areas across the city.


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