Deaths After Flood Gates Opened Without Warning, South China Residents Say

Epoch Times14. Oktober 2010 Aktualisiert: 14. Oktober 2010 0:42

As China’s southern Hainan Island continues to battle the worst downpour there in 50 years, residents in Tanmen Harbor, in Qionghai City are angry at authorities for failing to notify them before a flood gate was opened last week.

[Mr. Qiu, Tanmen County Resident]:
“Many fishing boats were washed away, dozens of them. Many people died too. These are human factors. People weren’t warned about the Heshui Reservoir opening its flood gate. 15 people died in town. We don’t know how many more died out of town.”

State-media reports four people died in the floods in Tanmen County. Local authorities say the men died before the flood gate of Heshui Reservoir was opened, and that residents were notified about the decision. But locals say that is not true and that hundreds of people went missing after the flood gate was opened.

[Ms. Li, Tanmen County Resident]:
“A lot of boats have been damaged. There was no warning before the floodgate opened, over 200 people went missing, and some bodies were recovered.”

Tanmen County resident Mr. Qiu says local news reports have downplayed the disaster.

[Mr. Qiu, Tanmen County Resident]:
“The county officials have blocked all of the news. The newspaper reports are all false. They say the damage in Tanmen is not that big. That’s not true at all. If they notified people to move their things one day before Heishui Reservoir opened its flood gate, less people would’ve died.”

The heavy rain in Hainan has affected 2.7 million people there so far, and inundated 90% of the island in the South China Sea, state-media reported on Monday.

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