More than 130 people dead in North Korea floods

Heavy downpours cause severe flooding in North Korea, leaving 133 dead and hundreds more missing.

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    Torrential rain has caused severe flooding in the northeast of North Korea. According to the UN, 133 people have died and another 395 are currently missing.

    The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) quoted Pyongyang government figures, saying that around 107,000 residents had been forced from their homes in the area along the Tumen River.

    OCHA added that more than 35,500 homes had been destroyed along with 8,700 public buildings.

    The past few weeks have seen bands of heavy rain sweeping across North Korea. The heaviest downpours fell over the eastern side of the country.

    July to September represents the country's wettest time of the year. Changjon had 70mm of rain during the past five days. Meanwhile, Sinpo recorded 80mm of rain over the same period.

    The heaviest downpours have taken place in Wonsan. Almost a month's worth of rain has fallen here, with 165mm in four days. This compares to the September average of 178mm.

    The North Korean meteorological department said that the flooding was "the most devastating natural disaster since the liberation of Korea in 1945.

    State media went on to say that the people in the northeastern region near the border with China and Russia were suffering "great hardship".

    Drier weather has now set in over the peninsula, and soldiers have been called in to help civilians with the clear-up operation.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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