China’s central government said officials in the Chinese state deliberately underreported or concealed 139 deaths from last year’s catastrophic flood disaster as authorities arrested some of the people involved.
Between July 17 and 23, record storms struck Henan Province in central China, flooding reservoirs in major cities, breaking riverbanks and overwhelming public transport and roads. In Zhengzhou, it rains more than 600mm, which is almost the average. It fell in just three days a year, flooding subway stations and tunnels across cities.
At least 12 people died at Zhengzhou Subway Station after the tunnel was flooded, and alert footage on social media shows the water level in the vehicle reaching passenger head height. 100 cars were trapped and submerged.
The state legislature, China’s highest government agency, considered investigating the disaster, and local and local officials and authorities “convicted of negligence and negligence, especially considering casualties in subways and tunnels.” Said that it was decided. It shouldn’t be done. “
Chinese parties and local civil servants often face punishment for actual and perceived failures, such as dismissal from their role and, in extreme cases, prosecution. Numerous civil servants were dismissed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and at least five civil servants were arrested 21 days later in June. A runner died in the Gansu Ultra Marathon.
A flood investigator in Henan Province will lead a local civil servant who accused him of “significantly lacking risk awareness” and “paralyzed his thoughts” when he was to pay attention to the warning of unusual heavy rains. I was hurt by the evaluation of.
In the weeks following the flood, 99 people died for several days before authorities announced the deaths of 302 dead and 50 missing.
However, in a statement posted online late Friday, state legislatures accused city officials of “intentionally obstructing and withholding reports of up to 139 cases.” “And missing in a disaster,” he said.
The report showed an official final death toll of 398 people, with more than 95% of the cases occurring in Zhengzhou, but did not provide details on the number of new cases.
At another press conference, investigative officials said the concealed cases included 75 in Zhengzhou, 49 in the county, and 15 in the town.
According to the investigator, 23 people were killed in the landslide and flood in Xingyang, and 5 people were killed in the flood explosion at the Dengfeng power plant. Reconstruction subsidies to compensate the deceased’s family, “said officials.
“Disasters were caused by extreme weather events, but many problems and flaws were exposed. Weaknesses also exist to varying degrees in many parts of the country. [the investigation] He urged meticulous attention and firm action and called for corrections. “
Eight employees were detained by police and another 89 were disciplined.
Floods in stations and road tunnels were “responsible accidents,” exacerbating the disaster by delaying the construction of urban drainage infrastructure and weakening links to emergency management, early warning and response systems.
“They failed to fulfill their primary responsibility for flood prevention and disaster relief and were seriously lacking in risk awareness of extreme weather,” according to investigators, including procedural practices and bureaucracy. He also pointed out the problem. “”
The report states that the Guojiazui Reservoir overflow was a violation of the law, but details are not provided.
A statement posted in English on the state legislature’s website is a rare admission of official failure.
In the aftermath of the disaster, allegations were widespread that the death toll was higher than reported as residents posted their missing loved ones online and authorities blocked access to disaster sites, including temporary monuments. ..