China flooding expected to worsen with heavy rains
China expects heavy rain in the coming days. China flooding and mudslides have already killed more than 1,000 people, with tens of thousands still at risk.
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“If we cannot guarantee safe drinking water and a healthy living environment, it is highly risky for infectious disease to occur,” Yang Jian, a senior official with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an article in China Daily.Skip to next paragraph
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China’s government has allocated $73 million in emergency relief funds for the troubled region, reports state-run Xinhua. The government says it has a three-part plan to help victims. First, the government will help find or provide temporary shelters for the those dislocated by the mudslide; next it will help resettle them with relatives or in rented apartments; finally it will reconstruct destroyed homes. Government officials say they hope to repair damaged houses by this November and to finish rebuilding houses that were completely destroyed by June 2011 at the latest.
Though most residents of the flooded region are still coping with the immediate aftermath of the disaster, there is already some anger with the government. Although the flooding and mudslides were sparked by heavy rains on Saturday and made worse by loosened rocks from the Sichuan earthquake in 2008, some Chinese people say the government could have avoided the tragedy.
The Guardian reports that “deforestation and rapid hydro development were increasing the risk of landslips in the area.” Despite government reports warning about this potential catastrophe, the British newspaper says that Chinese authorities did not take preemptive action:
"This has happened before. The government knew it could happen again and did nothing to prevent it," said a farmer called Yang, who did not want to give his full name. Five of his relatives were buried in the mudslide and he was digging to find them.
For now, questions of government responsibility have been pushed aside as survivors look for their relatives among the rubble. The People’s Daily Online reports that despite the challenges facing rescue workers, following the flood the government acted swiftly to avert any additional loss of life.