Authorities in central China reported on Monday that at least 302 people were killed in floods last month and that dozens of people are still missing. Zhengzhou Local Government reported in a news conference that 292 people had died and 47 were missing as a result of the floods.
Underground car parks and tunnels were jammed by the flood, trapping the cities residence.
Fourteen people were killed on Line 5 of the city’s subway, while hundreds of vehicles were washed away by the flood, many with passengers still inside.
Zhengzhou’s mayor, Hou Hong, told reporters that floods and mudslides killed several people. According to her, 39 bodies were found in car parks and other underground locations.
The flood is said to be one of China’s most disastrous floods in its history.
As of July 17, Zhengzhou has suffered economic losses of 53 billion yuan ($8.2 billion) as a result of heavy downpours that have harmed more than 14 million people and damaged thousands of houses.
Across the province, the overall losses were roughly double that amount.
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The wife of one of the subway victims said while speaking to the local media that she planned to sue the metro operator for negligence.
China’s social media users were outraged by the death toll and demanded better disaster management protocols. They also criticized the government’s response to the disaster.
“Can we do a good check of Zhengzhou’s drainage system?”, Weibo user from Zhengzhou posted.
”Daily, we excavate and create roadways… Do it all over again! Change the leadership and start from scratch!”
In contrast to this criticism, the government has responded strongly to it.
Officials cordoned off a massive floral tribute at the Zhengzhou subway last week, and foreign journalists reporting the flooding have been harassed on the internet as well as physically on the ground.
While reporting on a submerged traffic tunnel in Zhengzhou, AFP reporters were forced to erase film by hostile neighbors and encircled by dozens of men.
BBC has been singled out by China’s foreign ministry spokesman as “fake news”.Zhao Lijian said last week that the BBC is “attacking and smearing China, seriously deviating from journalistic standards.”
For years, Chinese officials and the state-run press have accused Western news organizations of anti-China bias.
United States officials have described their concern over the harassment and intimidation of international media reporting the Chinese flood disaster as “very concerning”.
It is reported that roads, railways, and airlines in Henan are now functioning but the Zhengzhou subway has not yet been restored, according to a Henan official.