Cai Qi, head of the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Zhejiang Provincial Committee, called for residents in Yuyao to restrain from radical acts on his Tencent Weibo account Tuesday, saying that local government officials have been trying their best in disaster relief.
Many residents in Yuyao also called for rational reflection on the city's disaster warning and emergency response system instead of blind protest on Tuesday, while thousands of people gathered to criticize the government's ineffectiveness in the disaster relief work following Typhoon Fitow brought severe flood to the city.
The rally, organized by some residents through Weibo, text messages and WeChat, began early Tuesday morning in front of the city's government building.
Hundreds of Special Forces and armed policemen were positioned at the scene to prevent the crowd from entering the building and maintain order. The police arrested several people for radical acts, including throwing bricks at the police and tipping over government vehicles, and some were injured during the conflict, said several residents at the scene who were reached by the Global Times.
The residents intended to urge the local government to apologize for their delayed rescue efforts to the flood and urge them to prioritize disaster relief work as power supply in some areas in the city have not yet been restored.
In addition, residents also requested an apology from the Ningbo television station for some reports over the flood-hit areas, which were accused of having exaggerated the rescue progress, a local resident surnamed Chen told the Global Times.
No government officials showed up during the rally, said the residents.
The local government in Yuyao was unreachable for comment as of press time.
However, some residents had asked people to calm down on Weibo and received support. The official Weibo account of the city's press office reposted a local Net user's post, which called for public cooperation to expedite disaster relief, on late Tuesday.
Chen was critical that the government did not face public doubts directly, however, it was still unreasonable for some people to express their requests violently to raise the tension between the government and people, especially when the majority rallied in a peaceful and rational way.
A Global Times reporter at the scene observed that the situation had been stabilized by 8 pm on Tuesday.
Around 2,000 people were still at the scene, demanding that police release the arrested, while a large team of policemen were patrolling the area to maintain order.