Another deluge for flood-hit North Korea

45,000 people are already homeless after weeks of torrential rain.

Last Modified: 31 Jul 2013 10:33
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North Korea often floods at this time of year, due to the onset of the Meiyu-Baiu rains. [EPA]

Another downpour has hit North Korea as it tries to recover from recent flooding.

105mm of rain was reported in Yangdok, North Korea in the 24 hours up until 00GMT on 31 July.

This will cause more problems for the country where flooding has already left 45,000 people homeless and inundated farmland.

Last week international observers form the UN’s World Food Programme and the Red Cross were among a group taken to survey the damage of North and South Pyongan Provinces, close to the capital Pyongyang.

The World Food Programme has released 500 tons of maize, which is enough to feed 40,000 people for 30 days, while the Red Cross is providing clean water, tarpaulin, hygiene kits and kitchen kits.

North Korea often floods at this time of year, due to the onset of the seasonal weather system called the Meiyu-Baiu rains.

This band on rain stretches from China in the west, across the Peninsula, to Japan.

In Pyongyang, the period July-August is when the Meiyu-Baiu is most active. These two months produce 30 percent more rain than in the remaining 10 months combined.

Severe loss of life is a real threat at this time of year, especially as increasing urbanisation hampers natural drainage.

The worst loss of life in recent years occurred in 2007, when 600 people died, mainly in southern parts of North Korea. The country was forced to accept offers of international aid.

The leader, Kim Jong-Ill, thanked the leaders of 11 donor countries for their help, but not its southern neighbour, even though they had sent $40 million in aid.


Al Jazeera
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