CHINA / SOCIETY
Zhengzhou learns lessons, installs protection against flooding
Published: Aug 20, 2021 11:32 PM
Aerial photo taken on July 21, 2021 shows submerged roads in flood-hit Zhengdong New District of Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province.Photo:Xinhua

Aerial photo taken on July 21, 2021 shows submerged roads in flood-hit Zhengdong New District of Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province.Photo:Xinhua


Central China's Henan Province, particularly its capital city Zhengzhou, were badly hit by torrential rain and flooding in late July, suffering 302 deaths, 50 missing and 114 billion yuan ($17.7 billion) in property damage. In response, local authorities have been installing baffle walls and are ready to close tunnels.

With heavy rains forecast for the next few days, Zhengzhou has set up barriers at entrances of tunnels to cut the traffic if there is flooding. Community property managers have also installed baffle walls at the entrance of underground parking lots. Some car owners have parked their cars on overpasses to avoid flood damage. 

Residents bought hammers in case they might be trapped in a car, and some even purchased kayaks after experiencing the meters deep of floodwater. 

Some companies have told their staff not to come to the office and the public appear to be more prepared for the rainfall this time, which is expected to be on a smaller scale than in late July. 

The provincial weather forecast office has issued a blue rainstorm alert, ordering government departments to perform their duties, and for kindergartens and schools to take preventative measures. Drivers have also been told to be cautious. 

The flooding that followed the record rainfall in late July and the insufficient preparation that led to deaths and losses could have been avoided, including an inundation of subway line 5 that killed 14 people. 

Premier Li Keqiang stressed "we must seek truths from facts" and ensure "accountability for any dereliction of duty and misconduct" when he visited the site on Wednesday. The flooding is also a warning for later generations, Li said. 

Lessons from disasters should be learnt and efforts should be made to strengthen the security of construction and improve the early warning and response system, Li said, adding that "life is of paramount importance." 

The State Council, China's cabinet, has set up an investigation team to assess the responses to the devastating flood in Zhengzhou. The investigation team aims to summarize the experience and lessons to be drawn from the accident that can be used to improve disaster prevention and relief in the future.

The team on Friday held a meeting to arrange work and released its hotline and email to collect complaints and reports on the issue from the public. 

Global Times 


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