According to a Beijing News article published on July 23, 2016, it has been confirmed that nine villagers from Daxian Village, Xingtai City drowned in a sudden flood on July 20, 2016. [Editor’s note: RFA previously reported the number of casualties in Daxian Village in an article published on July 22, 2016.] According to the updated official statistics that Xingtai City released at 11:30 am on July 22, 2016, nine people drowned and 11 are missing as a result of the recent flood.
On July 20, 2016, at around 6 pm, Wang Qingfei, Party Committee Secretary of the Xingtai City Economic Development District told the media: “When we were helping to transfer (people to a safe place), the flood arrived,” and “there were no casualties.”
The words “No casualties” angered many villagers from Daxian Village.
On July 23, 2016, at 12:29 am, the Xingtai Public Security Bureau posted an official blog on the Internet which said the following: that local government officials went door to door to notify the villagers of the coming flood; that there is no reservoir in the upper stream of Daxian Village; that the man-made release of flood waters from the Zhuzhuang Reservoir is a rumor and that the government did not conceal the truth and did inform villagers about the coming flood. However, the Beijing News reporter found out that the Yegoumen Reservoir, the Zhuzhuang Reservoir, and the Dongchuan Reservoir are all up-stream of Xingtai City.
Villager Gao Shunshan who lived in the Daxian Village Committee building told the Beijing News reporter: At 1:50 am on July 20, 2016, Zhang Zhange, the Village Party Secretary, received a phone notification about the coming flood, urging him to transfer the villagers. Zhang Zhange put down the phone, took a quick look at the village entrance, and then shouted through a Village Party Branch big horn: “Folks! Get up quickly! A flood is coming! ”By that time, the flood had already covered his feet. At the same time, the flood rushed into the house of Zhang Erqiang who lived in the south end of the village. Both his son and his daughter were washed away.
In addition to the published nine casualties from Daxian Village, villagers told Beijing News reporters that 2 disabled men were drowned in their homes.
Source: The Beijing News, July 23, 2016; Sina.com, July 23, 2016; HK Apple: July 24, 2016