China heatwave pushes thousands of people cool in swimming pool

(CCTV)

Thousands of swimmers filled an indoor wave pool to the brim in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, creating a scene resembling “boiling dumplings” as visitors try to escape the unrelenting heat wave.

Known as “China’s Dead Sea”, the saltwater pool located in an amusement park in Sichuan’s Daying County is attracting more than 12,000 tourists every day, as temperatures in parts of the province hit 41 degrees Celsius this week.

Nearly 15,000 people visited the pool on Saturday, almost triple what was envisaged by the pool’s designers.

“There’s so many people here, it’s like a cauldron of boiling dumplings,” said one of the swimmers at the crowded pool.

In response to rising safety concerns, pool administrators said they have taken steps to prevent any danger.

“There are six to eight people dealing with emergencies and two to three lifeguards patrolling on the stage. Also, we have sent about a dozen staff workers into the crowd to watch over visitors around the pool,” said Wang Tongming, manager of the “China’s Dead Sea” Water Amusement Park.

Wang said that a clinic has also been set up near the wave pool to deal with minor injuries.

According to Xinhua news agency, the pool received over a million visitors last summer.

Shanghai is sweltering through its hottest July since record keeping began as the temperature has reached 35 degrees Celsius or higher for 24 days this month as of Tuesday.

The umbrellas are up across Shanghai. There’s no rain in sight and shade is in short supply. Pedestrians on road are seen desperately searching for any way to escape the heat. However, some from the southern hemisphere might enjoy the summer heat.

The mercury climbed to 40.6 degrees Celsius in downtown Shanghai on Friday, the hottest since 1873.

The heat wave in Shanghai even turned surfaces into griddles capable in some cases of cooking raw food with the power of the blazing sun. A slice of pork was “cooked” medium well after it was put on the pavement downtown for about 10 minutes, TV news reported Monday.

“It’s really hot. I felt like my butt was about to start on fire after I sat down for a second,” a pedestrian said.

Some of the tourists who had came to experience the China’s largest city said they couldn’t wait to get home.

The city recorded a record power usage last week, as air-conditioners worked in overdrive. Hospitals have dealt with a jump in patients suffering heat stroke.

The extreme heat has claimed two lives in the past few days as the city heads for its hottest July in 140 years. The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued an orange alert for heat Tuesday morning, forecasting today’s maximum temperature to peak at up to 39 degrees Celsius.

(Copyright 2013 CCTV. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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