Fury over govt’s flood response
ANGER erupted over the floods in northern China that left more than 200 people dead or missing, with media and internet users accusing officials of negligence.
Torrential rain lashed the north last week, and a flash flood near the town of Xingtai in Hebei province, which left at least 23 dead and 13 missing, has become a focus of the public’s dissatisfaction with the government’s response to the disaster.
Angry villagers have blamed local officials for failing to warn them of the impending deluge, with Hebei Satellite TV showing one resident saying water had reached chest level before an alarm was raised.
Residents have also voiced suspicions that the sudden flood, which struck on July 20 while villagers slept, was man-made – the result of a release of water from a local reservoir, rather than the breaking of a levee in a nearby river, as officials have claimed.
Photos and videos of the aftermath showed the small, floating corpses of drowned children being pulled from the muddy floodwaters and homes completely collapsed.
Local deputy Communist Party secretary Wang Qingfei drew ire for earlier comments that there had been “no casualties” in the flood.
A video of him kneeling before wailing relatives who lost family members spread on social media, showing three distraught women clutching at his arm while asking how many had died.
Other online footage showed locals clashing with police.
As of yesterday, the rainstorms had left 110 dead and 104 missing in Hebei. –
Locals make their way through a flooded area in Changping district in Beijing on July 21.