Peo­ple cool off in air-raid shel­ters

High tem­per­a­tures push res­i­dents to seek respite be­low ground

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - Guo Jun contributed to this story. By CANG WEI in Nan­jing cang­wei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

In ad­di­tion to shop­ping malls and li­braries, many Nan­jing res­i­dents have cho­sen to en­joy the cool air of air raid 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 stu­dent 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 into three rooms for read­ing, play­ing poker and danc­ing.”

The shel­ter is the only one in the city that’s open all year. Oth­ers are open daily from July 15 to late Au­gust.

“Many peo­ple come to the shel­ter around 9:30 am and don’t leave un­til it closes at 5 pm,” said Chen Ya, who is re­tired. “Some even bring lunch.”

Other cities, such as Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, Fuzhou, Fu­jian prov­ince, and Chengdu, Sichuan prov­ince have also opened their air-raid shel­ters to the pub­lic.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Cen­ter, heat will con­tinue to grip parts of eastern, north­ern and south­ern China. Tem­per­a­tures in some parts are ex­pected to hit 37 to 40 de­grees.

CUI XIAO / FOR CHINA DAILY

Peo­ple stay cool in an air-raid shel­ter in Nan­jing, Jiangsu prov­ince, on Satur­day.

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