The Nanfang / Blog

Stinky Tofu Contaminated by Sewer Water Leaves Man Fighting for His Life

Posted: 08/8/2014 10:25 am

stinky tofuOf all the street foods that beckon as you pass by, it’s the stinky tofu that calls out the loudest. It may be offensive for those who have never tried it, but its aroma is sharper than any other food.

For one Wenzhou man, however, one plate of stinky tofu was almost his last. Fifty-two year-old Mr Su was hospitalized after he suffered major organ failure and fell unconscious for a week as a result of eating the popular street food, reports the Wenzhou Daily.

One day at the end of June, Su bought some stinky tofu to take home with him for dinner. Around 11pm that evening, Su started to have stomach pains, followed by diarrhea and vomiting. Su thought he had sunstroke, and decided to stay home rather than pay for a hospital visit. Instead, Su drank boiled water and decided to rest. The next day, though, things had gotten so bad his roommate took him to the Wenzhou City Center Hospital.

At this point, Su was very dehydrated. His blood pressure had fallen, and he had a core temperature of 40 degrees Celsius. By noon, Su suffered from acute failure of his lungs, liver, kidneys, and blood circulatory system.

stinky tofu

Doctors at the hospital said that if he received treatment a half day later, he would be dead.

Su regained consciousness a week later but needed an entire month to fully recover. His medical bill was RMB 150,000.

The doctor said stinky tofu was the culprit, adding the serving Su ate probably contained an enormous amount of bacteria. Doctors said the tofu was likely contaminated by feces in sewer water.

When asked if he had suspected anything wrong at the time he ate the tofu, Su said:

The stinky tofu was the same as usual. I couldn’t taste any thing wrong with it.

We can’t really fault Su for not being able to tell good stinky tofu from bad stinky tofu. They both appear to smell just the same.


UPDATE 11:33am August 8: This post has been altered to reflect on the fact that Su had a fever when he was first taken to the hospital.

Photos: meishixing, travel.cnr


Guangzhou’s RMB 400 Million Infrastructure Upgrade Goes Down the Drain

Posted: 06/26/2014 8:55 am
guangzhou rain flood heavy raining bad weather

A car was submerged and trapped by floods in the middle of the road in Guangzhou.

The Guangzhou government is under fire after some districts in the city were unable to handle torrential downpours despite a RMB 400 million upgrade to the city’s drainage systems, leaving the city’s transportation system partially paralyzed after this week’s heavy rainfall, New Express Daily reported.

[Photos] Guangzhou Flooded from Heavy Rainfall

Many trains from Guangzhou to Changsha were operating under reduced speeds while 26 departures were suspended on June 24 after rainstorms pelted the city since Sunday. The city issued a red alert for torrential rains on June 23. In the city’s Haizhu District, a rainfall of 176.2mm was recorded, the highest in the city.

guangzhou rain flood heavy raining bad weather

Water seeps into a school’s auditorium.

The Baiyunshan area around the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies and the Nanhu Street area in Haizhu District were both heavily flooded even though the local water bureau had pumped in RMB 11.69 million to upgrade the underground sewer system in 2011. Construction was completed in October 2012.

According to the bureau, the drainage problem on Congyun Road, South Road and Jiade Bus Station around the university was solved after the project. However, many buildings on the university campus were flooded by water after the Sunday rainfall, the report said.

The same thing happened to Nanhua Street in Haizhu District after the government allocated RMB 3.1 million to fix the sewer system. After last weekend’s rainstorm, the clogged waters reached knee-high level in some low-lying areas, the report said.

guangzhou rain flood heavy raining bad weather

All told, Guangzhou has spent a total of RMB 400 million on improving its drainage system in the last three years, but images of the city after the rain showed cars, buses, parking lots and residents mired in deep water.

Taiwan scholar You Yingtai famously proposed for a country to be judged as developed or not by its drainage system. The same can go for a city. If a city is flooded with standing water and the shop’s tea pot is floating in the middle of the road and used for catching fish, this is probably not a developing city.

Here, one’s trousers are wet without being muddy; road traffic is slow but not at a standstill. By this measure, Guangzhou, an export-driven powerhouse, is still a developing city, trying to to wade out of the flood waters.

Related stories from this year alone:

Photos: Yangcheng Evening News


Guangdong getting more polluted by the day

Posted: 08/29/2013 7:00 am

Shenzhen’s largest (and the PRD’s dirtiest) river and 22 proposed new power stations are the latest pollution concerns in the region.

People’s Daily reported this week that the silt and sewage that led Shenzhen’s Maozhou River to be labelled the most polluted in the Pearl River Delta is not getting any better, affecting the living environments of three million people.

On Monday (August 26), a reporter from the paper stood on the banks of the river in Bao’an District and could barely breathe as pollution from factories and waste from construction sites in Bao’an and Dongguan had left a pungent smell. The everyday litter that runs on the river’s surface does nothing for the river’s cleanliness either.

The Maozhou River, image courtesy of Xinhua

The river’s basin area takes in over 300 square km and the pollution has been getting worse every year since the 1990s as 22,000 industrial enterprises have set up shop near the river, 250 of which have been deemed “heavily polluting”.

Mrs Chen has lived by the side of the river for 10 years and says her family seldom opens the window.

Shenzhen Daily reported early this month that a 1.75 billion yuan cleanup project of the river will be completed in 2015. However, the regular discharge of domestic sewage into the river will have to be prevented to make the operation work.

In other environmental news, Shanghaiist reported that 22 new power stations planned for deployment in Guangdong could kill up to 16,000 people over 40 years through pollution, according to a study.

Image via Shanghaiist

South China Morning Post has more:

Of the predicted 16,000 premature deaths in the next four decades, two-thirds would be related to strokes, the report said. The rest would be from lung cancer and heart disease.
It said the pollution would also lead to 15,000 new cases of child asthma and 19,000 of chronic bronchitis.
Most new deaths and child asthma cases would be in the delta region, with 1,700 and 1,300 respectively in Hong Kong.

Keep in Touch

What's happening this week in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou? Sign up to be notified when we launch the This Week @ Nanfang newsletter.

sign up for our newsletter

Nanfang TV