Tropical Storm Bilis Causes Massive Damage in China, Brings Charges of Local Government Cover-Up

Tropical storm Bilis killed more than 500 people in southern China, mostly in Hunan province, and caused heavy damage in five other provinces. An estimated 212,000 houses were destroyed and another 287,000 damaged. Almost 3 million people were evacuated, and economic losses in Guangdong province alone have been estimated at $1 billion.

Local authorities in Hunan had reported much lower fatality figures until media reports suggested a possible cover-up. China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs sent a team of investigators.

Jim Yardley, “Rising Death Toll in China Storm Raises Questions of a Cover-Up,” New York Times, 23 July 2006.
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