China floods: Good Samaritans show flood-hit Zhengzhou residents kindnessjessie tan
Business owners and residents in the city of Zhengzhou, which has been hit by severe flooding, have given a helping hand to those affected by the natural disaster.
The extreme weather in Zhengzhou and neighbouring areas has left at least 33 people dead and eight are missing, including 12 killed when a subway flooded, according to figures from the Henan provincial government.
A man who runs 50 homestays in the city has offered all his rooms and public areas for flood victims to take shelter in as the severe flooding caused large-scale blackouts and cuts in drinking water supplies.
The owner of Kutequ City Guesthouse, who identified himself only by his surname Wu, said he has been providing free lodging to those in need since Tuesday (July 20) night, when heavy rain lashed the city, flooding streets and train tunnels.
“It’s time I step forward to help when so many people are in trouble,” said Wu.
All of his more than 200 rooms across the city were offered for free on Wednesday, and he had been taking phone inquiries from needy people every two seconds, he said.
“Many guests have left so far since electricity and water supplies have been restored in some places,” he said on Thursday.
In another Good Samaritan case, more than 1,000 people have spent the past few nights in a cinema that offered free accommodation for those who couldn’t get because of flooding.
The offer of shelter by the cinema, a branch of Oriental Golden Harvest Cinemas located in a shopping centre in Zhengzhou, became one of the most searched topics on Weibo and drew nationwide praise.
“Me and my family were trapped here after the torrential rain … The boss and the staff members were all so nice to us. They even prepared hot water for us … My parents and children had a good rest here,” one woman who has stayed there said in a report by China Central Television’s Movie Channel.
She said her apartment is in a high-rise building and there was still no water or electricity in the community, so the family would have to stay a little longer.
“We feel much better here. It makes us feel it’s not that horrifying outside,” she said.
The cinema’s manager, a man surnamed Yang, told the channel that he was happy to make contributions during the natural disaster.
“I’m just doing what people will naturally do in such circumstances. It never occurred to me that we will become famous,” he said.
Joining Wu and Yang were many owners of restaurants and grocery stores.
“There’s no power supply, no water and no signal. Many hotels and shops have offered us water and to charge our phones for free. I’m very grateful to those who come forward to help,” one user wrote on Weibo on Thursday.
Despite rising demand for accommodation, most hotels in the city have volunteered to cut their room rates amid the extreme weather, according to tourism platform ctrip.com.
“I expected a price surge at the grocery store in my residential community but I was wrong. I went outside to look for mobile signal and found trucks helping residents to carry bottled water, and there were firefighters from Jiangsu province to assist in draining flooded areas,” another resident said on Weibo.
“People are helping each other … I’m really touched!”