Anger as Henan flood deaths mount

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 28 Jul 2021

The death count from floods in Henan province rose to 71 yesterday after a tribute at a subway where 14 people died was sealed off in a sign of sensitivity to criticism of mishandling of the disaster.

Downpours dumped a year's rain in just three days last week on hard-hit Zhengzhou, flooding subway carriages and trapping more than 500 commuters during Tuesday rush hours.

City authorities have now announced the names of those who died in the subway - a rare attempt at transparency after people started leaving flowers at a station entrance.

Guards blocked access to the floral tributes, but a video by state-run West China Metropolis Daily showed people pushing aside barricades on Monday night and chanting "let the spirits of those who died come back home!"

One victim, identified in the official list by the name of Sha, was days from his 34th birthday.

"Who would have thought you were only one stop away from home but will never come back," Sha's wife wrote on Weibo. She is suing the metro operator for negligence.

Foreign media covering the floods have been harassed online and on streets as sensitivity about negative portrayals of China mounts.

Downpours that began on July 17 have affected 13 million people and damaged 9,000 homes. And more are forecast.



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