On July 20, the city of Zhengzhou in central China experienced unusual rainfall that caused flooding, damage, and deaths. Initially, the communist authorities reported that 99 people were killed, but on Monday, August 2, the figure rose to 302, Breitbart reported.

In a three-day period, the city of Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, received 617.1 millimeters of rain, equivalent to the city’s total annual rainfall.

During July 20, there was a record of more than 20 centimeters of rain per hour.

“The death toll from torrential rains in central China’s Henan Province has risen to 302 as of Monday noon,” Henan government officials told reporters at a press briefing on August 2.

[Henan] “Authorities said 189 people were killed by floods and mudslides, 54 in house collapses and 39 in underground areas such as basements and garages and including those on subway Line 5,” the Associated Press (AP) reported on Monday.

However, given Chinese Communist Party officials’ history of hiding or manipulating information to avoid tarnishing their image, the true figure could be higher than reported, especially considering the statements were made by Xinhua, a CCP mouthpiece media outlet.

The floods also caused damage to the neighboring cities of Hebi, Anyang, and Xinxiang, where unusually heavy rains were also recorded.

Videos uploaded to the networks show the devastating impact of the floods. Flowing water and landslides carry away cars as if they were made of paper—people in the subway with water up to their necks.

When the water level receded, witnesses say, people’s bodies appeared in the streets, cars were piled up. More than 250,000 hectares of crops were destroyed, and material losses are estimated at more than 14 billion dollars.

What the media did not say

There is an important factor that aggravated the flood situation in Zhengzhou that neither the media nor the Chinese authorities mentioned.

On July 20, when it rained torrentially, the city authorities released up to 70 centimeters of water from the Changzhuang Reservoir, a dam in Zhengzhou, without warning.

In fact, photos show that it was not the rain that washed away everything in the city, but rather the water released from the dam that caused the disaster.

In the sequence, the author explains the sudden increase in the water level in about half an hour. It is impossible to blame the rainfall, which was only 20 centimeters per hour at its peak.

The communist authorities released the notice a day later, on July 21, and the CCP’s mouthpiece media took it upon themselves to flood the local news about how prosperous the city of Zhengzhou is, a typical strategy to divert attention from the problems.

The statement was posted on the official account of the Zhengzhou Propaganda Department at 1 a.m. on July 21 and read:

The Zhengzhou Propaganda Department’s statement was published one day after the water was released from the Reservoir.

“Because of recent rainfalls in the Zhengzhou area, plus a large amount of upstream water, the Changzhuang Water Reservoir in Zhengzhou was at risk. As a result, the water reservoir began to discharge water at 10:30 a.m. on July 20. By 9:34 p.m., the water level was 130.54 meters… about 70 cm lower than the highest water level of the day.”

The analysis made by Li Zhengkuan, a freelance journalist in China, further adds that the city of Zhengzhou is located on a plateau, with no mountains around. Even if there were a sudden heavy rainfall, the water level would gradually rise from lower to higher.

But the sudden flood of water in the center of Zhengzhou was different and, given the rapid rise in flow, could only have come from the discharge of a reservoir.

However, CCP officials claimed it was ‘a natural disaster’ and boasted in the international media of having deployed a huge operation to relocate more than 1.5 million people affected by the floods, which were caused by their incompetence or straightforward disregard for human life.