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About 200,000 enthusiastic visitors flocked to the World Expo in Shanghai for a glance at the cultural gala on Tuesday, according to ChinaDaily.com. 

The number of visitors crowded into the site put pressure on the security system while  restaurants could not cope with the long lines formed at almost every pavilion. 

The 200,000 visitors is half the number of visitors expected to visit the site on a typical day once it is formally up and running. 

The exhibition, which celebrates its formal opening on May 1, will draw an estimated 70 million visitors, including around four million from overseas. Weekends and holidays are expected to be most crowded. 

Organisers said 70% of Expo pavilions and facilities participated in Tuesday’s trial opening. 

Security checks at the entrances had to be canceled to disperse the long lines of visitors, who might otherwise have had to wait hours to pass through X-ray scans of their hand luggage, the report says. 

Overcrowding also affected pavilions in the Pudong section of Expo garden. Pavilions for the UK, Australia and Germany were forced to close around noon due to the congestion. 

The China pavilion, the host country’s public face at the gala and the only structure requiring reservations for visits on Tuesday, shut its booking system around 10:30 am, one and a half hours after the opening of the Expo garden. 

The USA pavilion, the most anticipated foreign structure according to a recent poll, attracted tens of thousands of visitors though it only opened its first section, where screens showed Americans from all walks of life addressing visitors in Chinese.

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