Water from reservoir let out to prevent worse disaster: staff
The government of Shouguang, East China's Shandong Province has begun reconstruction work and started returning the city to normal after some villages suffered from the most severe flood in decades.
"We are currently arranging for villagers to return home and focusing on post-disaster reconstruction," an employee who requested anonymity from the government of Houzhen village, one of the villages worst hit by the floods, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Residents from several villages in Shouguang city were relocated to nearby shelters on Monday after their homes were damaged by floods, reportedly caused by typhoon Rumbia, news site thepaper.cn reported on Thursday.
"The local government offered timely help and asked us to help remove the water. Now that the floodwaters are gradually receding, we are slowly leaving shelters," 60-year-old Huang, a Houzhen grape planter, told the Global Times.
This is the most severe flood crest Shouguang has experienced since 1974, said the Weifang government which governs Shouguang.
The Weifang government said on Thursday 13 died from the floods, and three others are missing. It added that the floods also caused 9.2 billion yuan in property damage and forced the relocation of 170,000 residents.
Half a million residents in Shouguang suffered from the floods, and 60,000 were relocated, but no casualties were reported, said Zhao Xuchun, mayor of Shouguang. Zhao added that some villages are still flooded, but the government is doing everything to restore normalcy.
Shouguang government dispatched 17.9 million yuan ($2.61 million) to help reconstruction work and compensation for economic losses, said thepaper.cn.
Online videos and pictures show that the floodwaters were knee-high. A woman surnamed Zhang told Beijing News that more than 10,000 pigs raised by 40 families were missing.
Huang told the Global Times that his grape plantation was damaged as well. "I don't know how it will be compensated," he said.
Dead livestock are decaying and many villagers are also concerning about a possible epidemic, a resident surnamed Hu from Yangkou township, told the Global Times.
There are rumors online said that upstream reservoirs caused the flood, which because water had to be let out upon reaching the limit.
A reservoir employee in Yeyuan county, located upstream to Shouguang, told thepaper.cn on Wednesday that if they didn't let off water, the situation would have been worse.
The head of Weifang's water conservancy bureau said on Thursday that if they had not released the water, the upstream dam could have collapsed, thepaper.cn reported. "We are sorry for Shouguang's loss."