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Beijing flood victims anger at official response

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Beijing (CNN) -- Four days after the biggest rainstorm in six decades hit the Chinese capital, Zhang Huishen remains furious over what she perceives as government indifference to her family's plight.

"Our family of five lives off one income," said the 46-year-old farmer Wednesday. "Nobody cares about us because there's no official in this household."

Zhang lives along what once was a paved road in the small village of Louzishui in Beijing's southwestern Fangshan district, the area hit hardest by the storm last weekend.

A flashflood has reduced the road to a muddy path littered with furniture, clothes and even a tin shed -- all objects washed away by powerful waters.

Water marks some two meters high stay visible on the exterior walls of a dozen houses by the road, while mud piles stand outside doorways with flies circling around garbage nearby.

Zhang says she largely relies on her husband's monthly wage of $300 to take care of her family that includes the couple, their two children and her sick father-in-law.

"Everything was floating in water -- refrigerator, television, everything," she said while showing a CNN crew her just-dried kitchen and living room. "I borrowed money to renovate the house and lost more than 100,000 yuan ($15,000)."

Zhang and her neighbors alike remember a fearful night spent in dark attics or higher ground after carrying the elderly and children out of fast-rising water -- all the while unable to reach anyone at the city's flood control hotline.

One neighbor, Gao Liying, added that she feels even more shaken by the village officials' response when she told them the flood has ruined almost all her worldly possessions.

"They actually said: 'If your house didn't collapse and nobody died, then you're not a victim,'" she said, raising her voice. "I asked: are you still human?"

Villagers like Zhang and Gao blame local officials for their decision to cover a former waterway with concrete -- thus turning it to a road and diminishing drainage capacity -- and their failure to warn residents before the storm.

"It was more than a natural disaster," Gao said. "The officials are responsible too."

Fangshan authorities have acknowledged shortcomings in the local drainage system, telling reporters they have learned their lessons and will address people's concerns. They also insist the need to prioritize their effort in a district where the storm has affected 800,000 residents, cost at least $1 billion in economic losses, and the death toll is expected to rise significantly.

For some villagers of Louzishui, however, such words hardly resonate. As loudspeakers mounted throughout the village began to broadcast propaganda messages touting rapid government aid to victims, Liu Wenzhi scoffed.

"Why bother howling now? Where were they when we needed help?" the 60-year-old resident asked. "This is a place led by the Communist Party, where is our equality?"

Not long after the loudspeakers turned quiet, local officials showed up in two white vans to deliver bottled water, instant noodles and blankets to residents affected by the flood.

A shouting match soon broke out between a village Party official and a resident living by the water-ripped road whose home was totally flooded.

"I have to take the overall situation into consideration -- there are many others who are much worse off than you," the official shouted at a fuming Zhang Chunrong.

"I don't want your damn stuff," Zhang yelled back.

"My husband is a Party member so I was asked to keep quiet," she later explained, wiping tears off. "But I can't bear it anymore -- how dare he come to my home to insult me by saying my loss is nothing?"

网友的学习评论(16条):
北京不是取得抗洪胜利了吗?从一个胜利走向另一个胜利,在胜利的峰顶上下不来了。。哈哈。。
作者:tommy
feel shamed
It could seem as a really normal event in this country, a country ruled by dictators,and more day it handles the power, more painful the people will be under the tyranny of it.Where our money has gone? Were it flowed to the military? We question for all! We are thirsting for western democracy!
作者:emil
报道公正,不失偏颇。希望拼论不要带个人的感受。
作者:Becky
Where are our leaders? They are busy doing their honour show, shitting!
作者:houtou197
文章摸黑政府将政府和民众对立起来的意味很浓,但不可否认,政府有太多太多的地方做得不够。作为中国的首都,一场暴雨就死这么多人,预警机制在哪里?救命热线在哪里?
北京奥运会花了400亿美元,快是伦敦的3倍,历史上最多花的是150亿,你说这他妈钱都上哪了。
作者:ewarrior
the background video is from the Chongqing street...
作者:river fatgod
I love my country and I believe communist party but they disappointed me.Drainage system was not good and when the rainstorm come the system's capacity can't drain water timely before several years.Now,the system is still bad as before.I want to ask yelled what was govenrment do?
bad city
作者:Ada.jiang
市长知道事闹大了,自动辞职了
作者:monkey
I think this is sided-view.Facing sudden rainwater,people had no ability to resist the water.Perhaps didn't take it seriously.But it was too late when we saw the terrible situation.the earth is a trouble -maker.We can do sth and we must do sth.
作者:monkey
Western democracy is not perfect. See what The USA do around our country. Some people are too naive.
作者:hunter
在当和政府领导下,我们取得了抗洪伟大胜利,尽管77位同胞含悲入鬼乡.
作者:郑秀娟
nothing to say
作者:郑秀娟
水能载舟亦能覆舟
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