SW China city turns to air raid shelters to beat heat

Updated: 2007-06-12 17:14

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 agency said.

"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 added.

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.

($1=7.645 Yuan)

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours