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Zhengzhou official punished over floods given new health post

By Hou Liqiang | | Updated: 2022-02-16 16:29
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Hou Hong, the ousted former mayor of Henan provincial capital Zhengzhou, has been appointed deputy director of the province's health commission, according to local authorities. 

The appointment was announced during a provincial health conference on Tuesday.

The 55-year-old was removed from her post last month over last year's devastating floods that led to the deaths of 380 between July 17 to 23. 

Following last month's publication of the investigation report on the deadly floods by the State Council, China's Cabinet, the Henan disciplinary authority said that Hou not only received Party warnings, but administrative demotion as well. The authority, however, did not elaborate on the punishment at the time.

July 20 was one of the deadliest days in Zhengzhou, with 14 people killed in flooded subways and another six drowning in tunnels.

According to the investigation, the July 20 flood was an "especially serious" natural catastrophe caused by an extraordinary rainstorm, which led to multiple disasters happening simultaneously, including urban flooding, mountain torrents and landslides.

The report also said, however, that the poor performance of local authorities in terms of preparation and emergency response, as well as dereliction of duty, was to blame for the great number of casualties and the economic loss to Zhengzhou.

Hou was one of the five leading Zhengzhou officials to be punished. Xu Liyi was removed from his post as Zhengzhou's Party secretary, the top official in the city, while the city's former vice-mayor Wu Fumin was also dismissed from his posts both in the city government and within the Party.

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