SHANGHAI: As Shanghai swelters under a summer , it sometimes looks as if people are dropping dead from the temperatures on the city’s best-known shopping avenue. Normally bustling Nanjing East Road has turned into an open-air slumber party on recent nights as locals try to escape the heat of their cramped homes by sleeping outside onbenches or on pavement.

The city of more than 24 million people has endured an extended hot spell over recent weeks, with temperatures on Thursday topping 35°C for the 16th day this summer. Many homes in some of the older neighbourhoods lack air conditioning, while residents that do have it will often seek ways to keep electricity bills from skyrocketing during summer.

Around 4am (local time) on Thursday nearly 100 people were seen sleeping out on sidewalks. Dozing upon newspapers, blankets, or nothing at all, they sought relief from a night breeze blowing off the .

Some camped in People’s Square — the city’s main park — or curled up outside clothing-stores. Locals are also known to flocksubway stations, malls, libraries, and supermarkets to escape the heat. Outlets of are particularly popular with visitors.

The trend isn’t likely to go away soon. Shanghai is getting hotter, logging a new record high of 40.9 degrees in July of last year, according to the weather bureau.
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