Recently, a video has been shared on Telegram showing students trying to offer flowers and express their grief in a public space but they were obstructed by the police.
Nonmainstream HK media stated that offering flowers or paying tribute has been prohibited, according to unofficial messages received by people in areas of Zhengzhou.
According to the local media, the flood started on 20 July last year and surprisingly there is no mention of it in the Chinese media.
In the previous year, Chinese state media hit out at foreign media for their coverage of floods in Chinese cities.
According to a report in Hong Kong Free Press, the Chinese social media platform Weibo was filled with angry posts criticising the coverage of foreign correspondents as Chinese cities witnessed heavy downpours and floodings.
The criticism was mainly aimed at BBC’s China Correspondent Robin Brant for a report that questioned government policies after a dozen people die in a train carriage amid the flooding.
“We don’t know why they were left so vulnerable,” Brant said in a report last Friday, adding that Beijing had warned other local governments to examine their own preparedness and metro regulations.
Chinese social media users accused Bant on the Twitter-like Weibo platform of being a “rumour-mongering foreigner” and “seriously distorting the facts” in his reports on the flooding.
“BBC reporter Robin Brant has appeared in disaster-stricken areas of our city many times and has seriously distorted the facts. If you find this person, please call the police immediately,” one post on Saturday read.
The next day, Beijing Bureau Chief for the LA Times Alice Su and Deutsche Welle’s China correspondent Mathias Boelinger were surrounded by an angry crowd who mistakenly believed Boelinger to be Brant.
“They kept pushing me yelling that I was a bad guy and that I should stop smearing China. One guy [tried] to snatch my phone,” Boelinger tweeted following the incident.
“You should have a positive view on China!” one man told Boelinger, a video circulating on Weibo showed.
Correspondents for Al Jazeera and the Associated Press also tweeted about being harassed by crowds, who took videos of them and called the authorities.
Flower exchange stopped by Chinese police on 1st anniversary of Henan floods