Public Anger Grows After Floodwaters Deliberately Diverted To Save China's Capital

 Authored by Alex Wu via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Many towns in China’s Hebei Province have sustained severe flooding due to the Chinese communist regime’s deliberate use of the locales as a “moat” to protect China’s capital city of Beijing and the new political hub of Xiong’an, following the strongest storm in northern China in years.

A flooded street after heavy rains in Zhuozhou, in northern China’s Hebei Province. (AFP via Getty Images)

The storm, super typhoon Doksuri, reached northern China on July 29 and was the strongest to hit Beijing and the surrounding areas in Hebei Province in 140 years, triggering flash floods and landslides.

Provincial officials said on Aug. 3 that the floodwaters might take a month to completely recede. According to state media CCTV, modeling estimated that another 300 million to 400 million cubic meters of water needed to flow to the ocean.

On July 31, flash floods were reported in the municipality of Beijing, a centrally administered region surrounded by Hebei Province, and by Aug. 1, eight reservoirs in the city began discharging water at the same time.

Situated between Beijing and Xiong’an, the city of Zhuozhou and its nearby areas—home to about 1 million people—were subsequently flooded as authorities decided to sacrifice the regions as a “flood storage zone.” A large number of people were trapped in fast-rising floodwaters as many people were given only two hours to evacuate on Aug. 1 or didn’t receive the evacuation order. Villages, towns, and vast farmlands were quickly submerged by the floodwaters.

Li Guoying, China’s water resources minister, on Aug. 1 publicly required “ensuring the absolute safety of capital Beijing, Daxing International Airport, and Xiong’an New Area against the flood.” Ni Yuefeng, head of Hebei Province, pledged on state media on Aug. 2 that in order to reduce the pressure on Beijing’s flood controls, the province would resolutely be the “moat” for the capital. The official statements sparked public anger.

A staff member from the Zhuozhou Emergency Management Bureau conceded on July 31 that flood discharge from Beijing was one of the reasons for the significant rise in water levels in the regional city, mainland Chinese outlet Southern Weekend reported on Aug. 1.

That triggered mass public outrage and protest.

Calls for Help

Since Aug. 1, residents in Zhuozhou have been sending urgent messages for help on social media.

Local residents told the Chinese language Epoch Times that on Aug. 1, all of Zhuozhou was inundated by the floodwater discharge. In addition to communications, water, electricity, and transportation were cut off, they said.

By Aug. 2, floodwaters had reached Bazhou, which is about 130 kilometers (about 80 miles) downstream from Zhuozhou and 40 kilometers (almost 25 miles) upstream of the major of Tianjin, destroying many homes and properties, and leaving tens of thousands homeless.

Videos on mainland Chinese platform Feidian posted on Aug. 3 showed that independent volunteer rescue teams had arrived in Zhuozhou, and could only move around by boat. Rescuers said that the floodwater on average was 7 to 8 meters (23 to 26 feet) deep, with the deepest areas reaching 12 meters.

Hebei’s ‘Man-Made’ Disaster

Wang Weiluo, a hydrology expert now based in Germany, told The Epoch Times on Aug. 3 that if authorities in Beijing hadn’t diverted water to Zhuozhou to protect the new Xiong’an district, the rural city and its surrounding regions wouldn’t have experienced such disastrous flooding.

Mr. Wang said that, while floodwater discharge from the reservoirs in Beijing’s Fangshan and Mentougou districts was needed to prevent the dams from collapsing, after Aug. 1, “eight reservoirs in Beijing began to release flood water” in controlled discharges.

He explained that the water from Beijing usually has two routes to flow to the ocean—neither of which passes through Zhuozhou.

“One … flows down from Yongding River to Langfang in Hebei, then passes through Tianjin to the Bohai Sea; the other one flows down from the Daqing River, usually passing through Xiong’an to Baiyangdian, and then enters the Bohai Sea,” he said.

Mr. Wang added that in order to protect Xiong’an, the new political hub planned by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping, authorities ordered the creation of a new but less efficient flood storage area in Zhuozhou to reduce pressure on Xiong’an.

That’s why the official said that the flood discharge will last for another month, and you should not go home for one month. It doesn’t mean that you can go home when the rain stops,” he said.

Mr. Wang estimated that some other areas in Hebei Province beyond Zhuozhou like Baoding (about 60 miles to the southwest), and even Shijiazhuang (about 150 miles to the southwest) and Xingtai (about 125 miles to the south), may have even worse flooding than Zhuozhou. The reason why Zhuozhou has received so much attention is that locals there posted news of the flooding on social media first, he said—before the CCP’s internet censors kicked in.

On Aug. 5, more than 600,000 of Baoding’s 11.5 million residents were ordered to evacuate.

Ten deaths have since been reported in Baoding, and at least 18 people have also been reported missing. Chinese authorities have officially reported a total of 30 deaths from the floods, with at least 26 missing as of Aug. 5. However, the actual number of casualties is feared to be much higher, given the regime’s history of underreporting numbers to save face.

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