Beijing/Henan – Due to incessant rains and floods, the number of casualties in central China’s Henan province has increased, with at least 302 people dead. The bodies of about 39 people were found in a car park in Henan’s capital Zhengzhou. Fifty people are still missing, and the floods have affected more than a million people. The floods have caused extensive damage to property, including agriculture and industry, and the economic loss is estimated at more than USD 18 billion.
The effects of last month’s heavy rains in Henan province are beginning to show. Initially, the death toll was reported to be between 50 and 100. But on Monday, the Henan administration announced that the total number of victims was 302. Of these, 292 victims are from Zhengzhou city alone. Floods and mudslides have claimed 189 lives. House collapses caused due to incessant rains has claimed at least 54 lives, and 39 bodies were found in an underground parking lot. At least 50 people are still missing, and the death toll is expected to rise.
At least 30 million people in Henan province have been affected due to incessant rains and floods. Nearly 9,000 homes were damaged in and around Zhengzhou city. Moreover, almost six million hectares of crops in Henan province have been damaged, and factories, historic buildings and tourist sites have also been badly hit. According to companies, the financial losses have crossed USD 18 billion, with locals claiming about USD 1.7 billion in insurance claims.
A high-level inquiry into the damage in Henan Province and Zhengzhou has been announced. The communist regime said that if the local administration and officials are found responsible, action will be taken against them. The floods in Zhengzhou have provoked strong reactions from locals, as well as on social media. Some locals have also warned of legal action against the metro system as well as the administration. The reactions on social media have targeted the administration, saying it should focus more on building infrastructure rather than building big and showy projects.
The heavy rains and floods in Henan have also been the subject of international discussion. There are reports of international journalists covering the floods being shoved, insulted and monitored, in Zhengzhou. The issue has incited strong reactions from the United States and Europe.
Earlier this month, the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) celebrated its 100th anniversary. In his speech, President Xi Jinping, while describing the country’s progress and development, claimed that even advanced economies have been left behind. However, the heavy rains in Henan province, the loss of life and property, the handling of the situation by the Chinese machinery and the claims of damages show that the claims of the communist regime are hollow.