High temperatures push residents to seek respite below ground
In addition to shopping malls and libraries, many Nanjing residents have chosen to enjoy the cool air of airraid shelters, where they may read books, dance or play online games.
“What I like most about the air-raid shelters is that there are no mosquitoes,” said Zhong Yue, a 16-year-old who accompanied her grandmother to Beijiyan Shelter, which is built into a hillside. “My grandma goes to the shelter almost every day in summer with her friends to save electricity. I think it’s environmentally friendly. However, I wouldn’t be here if free Wi-Fi wasn’t provided.”
Since Saturday, Nanjing has opened eight of its airraid shelters to the public. Tables, chairs and free mineral water are provided, along with dehumidifiers.
Beijiyan Shelter, which literally means North Pole rock shelter in Chinese, is located near well-known attractions, such as Xuanwu Lake and Jiming Temple.
And it’s not just residents. Visitors find their way into the shelter as well.
Yuan Man, a Suzhou stu- dent who will go to college this September, said that the shelter looks different from what he had imagined.
“I thought it would be dark and terrifying inside, like in the war movies,” said the student, who is traveling in Nanjing. “But it’s bright and clean.
“I shivered when I first entered. It’s almost 40 C outside and inside it’s only half that temperature.”
Yuan Renshui, a community worker in Qixia district, said people don’t get bored, even if they spend the whole day in the Qianxin Yinkuang Shelter.
“We bought a television this year,” he said. “The shelter covers more than 200 square meters. It’s divided
Guo Jun contributed to this story.