China sacks 4 officials in province hit by fatal floods

At least 130 people dead, 110 missing in northern Hebei; residents say were not informed of threats or evacuated in time

China sacks 4 officials in province hit by fatal floods

World Bulletin / News Desk

Four government officials have been suspended for dereliction of duty in a northern Chinese province where flooding has left at least 130 people dead with 110 others missing.

State news agency Xinhua reported Monday that the officials in Hebei included two Communist Party of China (CPC) officials in Xingtai city, a chief engineer of Shijiazhuang’s municipal transport bureau and a deputy chief of Jingxing County.

A statement citing the CPC’s Hebei provincial committee said the four would undergo accountability investigations and might be further penalized.

After torrential rains last week triggered flash floods in the region, which suffered power and telecommunication outages, the public responded with outrage. Complaints mounted that authorities had not informed them of the flooding threat and had failed to organize timely evacuation.

Xinhua reported that the mayor of Xingtai city, where 25 people were confirmed dead while 13 others remain missing, apologized Saturday night.

Dong Xiaoyu acknowledged that the government “had underestimated the intensity of the rainfall, been insufficient in emergency ability, and late and inaccurate in disaster assessment”.

More than 300,000 residents have been evacuated in the area, where direct economic losses of 16.3 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) were recorded as of Sunday.

Around 2,000 people remain trapped by flooding in Jingxing.

State Councilor Wang Yong arrived in Hebei on Sunday, tasked by President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to oversee disaster relief and relocation efforts.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Temmuz 2016, 12:51