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Monday, July 25, 2016, 10:30

Govt spokesman debunks flood myths

By China Daily

Q&A with Zhao Xuefeng, deputy head of the Publicity Department of Xingtai, Hebei province, from the Mirror newspaper.

The flood left eight people dead and one missing in Daxian village, which suffered the most in the disaster. Was the flood caused by the discharge from reservoirs in the upper reaches of the Qilihe River?

No, it was not. Rainfall caused Qilihe River to burst its banks and flood the villages near the river.

Villagers said they didn't receive any notice about the flood in advance. Is that true?

No, it's not. We informed them of the incoming flood ahead of time via TV and cellphones. The weather forecast was broadcast every two hours.

Villagers said it was the reconstruction of natural gas pipelines and other construction work in the upper reaches of Qilihe River that narrowed the river, which made the river overflow and then flood villages. Is that true?

No, it's not. The river course where the river overflowed was originally narrow.

Villagers said the local government didn't try to search for the missing or was not doing rescue work after the disaster. Did the government send professional search-and-rescue teams to find the missing people?

A professional search-and-rescue team led by a deputy head of the city's public security bureau has been working in the disaster areas since the disaster happened.

Villagers said no government official had visited the villages and comforted villagers after the flood. Is that true?

No, it's not. Officials from the local town knocked at villagers' doors in person to inform them of the flood. At the time, the broadcast loudspeaker didn't work because of a power failure.

Why did Daxian village suffer the most?

A great amount of water rushed along the river and the strong current near the village caused the flood.

How is the rescue work going?

The Xingtai government has sent 12 teams comprising 300 people to help flood-affected villagers.

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