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If officials can cover up deaths from typhoon, they may do worse

China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-14 07:46

A RECENT NEWS LEAK said 38 people had been found dead after Typhoon Damrey hit the Xiuyan Man autonomous county of Anshan in Northeast China's Liaoning province, on Aug 4, 2012. However, the county government reported that only five people were killed, with three others missing. Southern Metropolis Daily commented on Tuesday:

After a letter was received listing the names of those that died, some reporters went to Xiuyan to verify the exact death toll, and found that as the letter said 38 people had been killed in the floods caused by the typhoon.

The county government intentionally covered up the true number-going so far as to pay the families of the deceased not to say anything-because it might lead to further investigation by the higher authority and expose their poor performance in flood prevention, control and rescue.

The Anshan city government's annual work report that year did not mention the death toll of the disaster in the county under its administration, which means it had not verified the county government's report of the flooding.

If a government can cover up the number of deaths in a disaster, it can certainly whitewash much more at other times. And if the officials responsible for the cover up are not investigated, the Xiuyan government will become even bolder.

Therefore it is necessary for the provincial government of Liaoning to take immediate actions to investigate the case, and address the dishonesty and dereliction of duties of the grassroots officials as soon as possible, in order to prevent further loss of trust in the local government and protect the public's interests.

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