BEIJING - A southwestern Chinese city renowned as a "furnace" during the
summer has opened up its warren of old air raid shelters to help people beat the
heat, state media said on Tuesday.
Chongqing, China's World War Two capital, would be able to accommodate 10,000
people in the shelters, which are aimed at low-income residents, Xinhua news
"We spent about 500,000 yuan ($65,400) refurbishing the shelters -- putting
in tables and benches, tap water and book stands, so that the needy who cannot
afford air conditioning at home can spend the summer more comfortably," it
quoted Tang Zhiming, director of the Chongqing Municipal Air Defence Shelters
Office, as saying.
"Money-making activities will be banned at the refurbished shelters -- we
want ordinary people to be able to go there and cool off free of charge," Tang
Last summer, densly populated and heavily industrial Chongqing sweltered in
temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), compounding a
drought and forcing schools to postpone the start of the new term.