Several dead as Typhoon Lingling hits North Korea

At least five dead and three others injured, state media reports, amid concerns over effect of powerful storm on crops.

    Pedestrians on Saturday shield themselves from wind and rain brought by Typhoon Lingling in Pyongyang [Jon Chol Jin/AP Photo]
    Pedestrians on Saturday shield themselves from wind and rain brought by Typhoon Lingling in Pyongyang [Jon Chol Jin/AP Photo]

    At least five people have been killed and three others injured after a powerful typhoon struck North Korea, according to state media.

    After slamming South Korea, Typhoon Lingling moved to North Korea on Saturday, raising concerns about crop damage in an isolated country that frequently suffers from food shortages.

    "Crops fell down, (were) inundated or buried in 46,200 hectares of farmland," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Sunday.

    "Active work to eradicate the aftermath is now under way in the afflicted areas," it added.

    North Korea held an emergency meeting on Friday under the guidance of leader Kim Jong Un, who berated senior officials for being "helpless against the typhoon, unaware of its seriousness and seized with easygoing sentiment", KCNA reported on Saturday.

    The impoverished country is vulnerable to natural disasters, especially floods, due in part to deforestation and poor infrastructure.

    At least 138 North Koreans were known to have died after torrential rain triggered major floods in 2016, the United Nations said at the time. More than 160 people were killed by a massive rainstorm in the summer of 2012.

    Meanwhile, in South Korea the typhoon killed three people and injured 27, authorities said on Saturday.

    The storm led to a power outage to around 160,000 households and grounded hundreds of flights, the government said in a statement. Power was restored to most of the homes affected.

    Seoul said on Sunday it was surveying the effect of the typhoons and engaging in recovery work.

    The storm was moving near Russia's Vladivostok as of Sunday morning.

    SOURCE: News agencies