The Chinese government has a consistent record of denying the truth about disasters. Bitter Winter went to a village in Shandong to uncover a significant precedent about the Lekima Typhoon.
by Xiao Baiming
The CCP gave too little information too late, ad tried to manipulate public opinion, which made the bad Wuhan coronavirus situation worse. There are rumors that the real number of confirmed diagnoses and deaths is higher than the official one, and delays in providing relief have put the population in danger, notwithstanding the hype on hospitals allegedly built overnight.
It is not the first time that the CCP’s behavior makes a disaster worse. Donggaoxi village is a small village located in Zhangqiu district of Ji’nan city in the eastern province of Shandong. In August 2019, Typhoon Lekima hit the village more severely than any other in the province. Then, the lies started.
Video: The scene of flood
Natural disaster or human-made calamity?
Due to the increasing rainfall, Xinglin Reservoir upstream of the village had to release floodwater. On August 11, Zhangqiu Flood Prevention Office issued a notice stating that the outflow will be of 30 cubic meters per second. Afterward, however, a staff member of the reservoir revealed that the outflow had increased up to 60 cubic meters per second.
“The government did not mention how serious the risk was, nor did it provide materials for flood prevention in advance. The villagers did not receive a notice of evacuation either,” a local village official told Bitter Winter.
A joint letter to the authorities by the local villagers reads, “After Xinglin Reservoir released floodwater, the water from the pond dam [a small reservoir downstream of the Xinglin Reservoir] went directly into the village as the dam’s brake has never taken off over years. This added to the loss caused by the flood. The flood-affected villagers hope that the leaders can investigate this incident and do us justice.”
A local grass-root government official admitted that inadequate prevention before flood directly resulted in serious calamity for the villagers.
“They [the CCP officials] said this was a natural disaster, but I’m not convinced. It was human-made,” a local middle-aged villager said.
False death certificates
According to local villagers, the flood caused eight deaths, among whom only one young man who was drowned during a rescue effort was reported. For the others, false certificates were issued mentioning “death from illness.”
“The funeral home only wrote ‘death from illness,’ instead of ‘drowned to death’ or ‘crashed to death.’ If we did not sign it, they did not cremate the remains,” a relative of one of the deceased said.
“The bodies smelt bad, but the government still asked the ambulance to take them away, pretending to rescue them and that there was no death,” a local villager added.
When the villagers reported the real death situation to the outside world, the government said they were spreading fake news.
“For so many deaths, the government had the responsibility, but no official was willing to take it. They did not report the deaths to the higher-ups, for fear that they would be dismissed from their office,” a local grass-root government employee said.
Relief supplies disappeared
In August, local newspapers published news of social fundraising on their main sections. Qilu Evening News reported that three days after the flood, 23 million RMB (about $ 3.3 million) was donated by the business community alone.
However, the local villagers stated they did not receive any effective material assistance. A box of instant noodles, two comforters, and some deteriorated food for each villager—these are all the “huge amount of donations” the villagers received.
According to the villagers, two local village groups had 48 collapsed houses, and suffered a loss of hundreds of thousand kilograms of grain. The government promised solemnly that it would provide help, but no news about this was heard in the following months.
A business enterprise bypassed the government and directly donated to the village committee, so that each villager could receive 300 to 500 RMB (about $ 43 to 72). Unfortunately, the town government sent agents who went from household to household, claiming that the donation could not be given to flood victims.
“A government official declared that the donation had nothing to do with us, but in fact it was embezzled by somebody. He said, ‘Do not even ask about this. You won’t get a penny,’” a villager said.
The villagers wrote several letters to report the situation to the higher level of government, but they were not answered, and instead, village officials threatened that anyone who would try to bypass them and appeal to higher levels would be detained.
The CCP media did not report the real flood situation, but only told how effective the authorities had been in front of the typhoon. This was obviously false, and does not augur well for the truthfulness of official reporting about the coronavirus.