Floods in North Korea’s northern region have left hundreds of people dead and tens of thousands others stranded, the country’s state media said Wednesday. The heavy rains leading to the floods were triggered by typhoon Lionrock in late August and early September.
South Korean Yonhap New Agency reported, citing the Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS), that in North Hamgyong province, hundreds were killed or missing and more than 68,900 stranded. The floods destroyed over 11,600 buildings, about 180 sections of roads and more than 60 bridges. Electricity and communication lines were also affected.
KCBS reported that the government, the ruling party and provincial officials held an emergency meeting to plan relief measures.
On Monday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said about 133 people were killed and 395 are missing. The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said Tuesday that more than 140,000 people in North Korea were affected by the floods and the number was likely to rise.
“Whole villages have been washed away by flash floods. Families have lost everything, including their kitchen gardens and livestock, which many households depend upon to supplement their diets. The floods came just before the harvest period, when the crops were still in the ground,” Darlene Tymo, WFP’s Representative and Country Director in North Korea, said in a statement.
“The North of the country will shortly see the onset of a typically severe winter when temperatures can plunge below -25 [degree Celsius or -13 degree Fahrenheit]. These families need continued support to get through the worst of the winter,” Tymo added.