These officials are inspecting a field under heavy rain conditions. The weather system is expected to pass when the firefighters turn off the hose. (Internet photo)
Leshan in southwestern China's Sichuan province is known for its Giant Buddha and now also for its heavy rain that spouts from fire hoses.
A number of city officials were recently filmed standing in an open space where they were pretending to be conducting an inspection in heavy rain — yet without a cloud in the sky. The red fire engines gave the game away, with firefighters spraying water into the sky to simulate the rain under which the officials were laboring as they served the people.
The bizarre scene was forwarded thousands of times online until the city government stated that they had been shooting a promotional film, according to Guangzhou's Southern Metropolis Daily.
Netizen "Xiao Guoba11" uploaded a photo showing seven or eight people wearing white shirts, holding umbrellas and standing in an open space with no rain in sight. The firefighters aimed their hoses at an empty area behind the cast, with the water not even touching the umbrellas.
Xiao Guoball's comment was, "Leaders inspect under heavy rain? What a joke! You are all superb actors."
The microblog triggered debate, with the Leshan city government intervening to dispel the ridicule by saying that the scene was actually set by a culture company shooting DV materials.
The microblog was reposted several thousand times. Netizen "Kidnapped by myself" said: "Being an official is like being on the stage: it all depends on the skill of the actor."
"smallduck841031" said: "They are not suspended on grounds that they are still good at their job." "Old TB" said: "Officials are all senior Golden Horse and Oscar winners."