China to give flood victims' families $18,000 each

BEIJING, June 15 (Reuters) - China will give 150,000 yuan ($18,120) in compensation to each of the families of schoolchildren killed in a flood last week in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, the China Daily reported on Wednesday.
Official figures said 95 children and four villagers died when the mountain torrent, said to be the worst to hit the area in 200 years, swept through Shalan town on Friday trapping children in classrooms in the packed Shalan Central Primary School.

A local government spokesman said 10 children were still missing, the China Daily said.

Residents however have put the death toll from the flood at about 200 people. The China Daily quoted one resident as saying the official toll was inaccurate because it did not include children who were buried by their parents soon after the disaster.

Power was restored to the stricken area in Heilongjiang province, but clean water supplies remained cut, the newspaper said.

It said two people held for questioning after the flood -- the party secretary of Shalan town and the head of its police station -- were released on Tuesday. But both remained under investigation, the vice mayor of Mudanjiang municipality where the town is located, said.

($1 = 8.28 yuan)


Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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