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China Clamps Down After Eastern City Protests Typhoon Damage

A protest in the Chinese city of Yuyao

A protest in the Chinese city of Yuyao

Chinese authorities have imposed a security clampdown on an eastern city after a series of violent protests against the local government's handling of a recent typhoon.

In the latest unrest in Yuyao, a demonstration by thousands of residents escalated into a riot on Tuesday. It was the second mass protest in the city since Friday.

A video of Friday's protest, obtained by Reuters, shows Yuyao residents besieging a vehicle belonging to Ningbo TV, a local station.

Many accused the station of ignoring the damage from Typhoon Fitow, which flooded the coastal region of Zhejiang province on October 7.

Some vented their anger by throwing objects at the TV truck, damaging its windscreen.

In this amateur footage of the protest, residents can be heard complaining about the station.

"Ningbo TV came [here] and said that 80 percent of Yuyao had recovered to a good situation," said a protester.

"Yeah, they said the street lamps were lit up again," said another.

"But 80 percent [of the city] is still under water, I'm telling you," said another protester.

Other protesters said Ningbo TV failed to report the plight of stranded residents who had gone without electricity or water for days.

"It's very serious over there. They only talked about the places where it's good, they didn't talk about the places where it's bad. Their journalists just went and filmed the very best places," said a protester.

When riot police arrived to disperse the protest, the crowd turned on them. Some managed to overturn a police car.

Ningbo TV has denied the protesters' accusations.

The outrage flared into another protest on Tuesday, with rioters throwing rocks at police, overturning vehicles and vandalizing a government building.

Hundreds of police were deployed in response, making several arrests and restoring calm by Wednesday.

A senior Community Party official for Zhejiang province said local authorities have done their best in dealing with what he called an "unprecedented disaster."

He urged residents to exercise restraint. China's Communist rulers have long worried that public protests over a variety of grievances could destabilize the country.