SEOUL 133 dead, hundreds missing in floods
SEVERE flooding in a North Korean border region has killed at least 133 people with another 395 missing and thousands of homes swept away, the UN said, after Pyongyang reported “great hardship” in the area.
Some 107,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in the area along the Tumen River, the world body said yesterday which cited Pyongyang government figures.
The North’s official media has described the downpour which led to the floods near the northeastern border with China and Russia as the worst for decades, and said it brought severe hardship to residents.
More than 35,500 houses have been hit by the latest floods, with 69 percent of them completely destroyed, and 8700 public buildings damaged, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
Around 16,000 hectares (39,540 acres) of farmland have been inundated and at least 140,000 people urgently need help, it said.
The impoverished nation is vulnerable to natural disasters, especially floods, due partly to deforestation and poor infrastructure. Major state resources are swallowed up by a missile and nuclear weapons program.