North Korea Floods – 21 Dead, 9 Missing

In a statement earlier today, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) reported that 21 people have died in floods in North Korea since heavy seasonal rainfall began early August 2015.

According to the State Committee on Emergency and Disaster Management (SCEDM), the Government of DPRK and DPRK Red Cross Society, 3,455 people were affected, 21 were reported dead while 9 others remain missing. The floods have damaged or destroyed 968 houses and are expected to worsen in the coming days as the rainy season continues.

The affected provinces include South Hwanghae, particularly Byoksong county, South Hamgyong and North Hamgyon.

The DPRK Red Cross Society has swiftly reacted to the situation by providing immediate assistance and safe evacuation of people marooned in the affected areas.

“Along with rapid assessments, we have visited the disaster sites to find out what the immediate needs are,” said Mr Ri Ho Him, Secretary General of the DPRK Red Cross Society. “At the moment, drinking water, emergency shelter, warm clothing, cooking facilities and hygiene kits are a priority.”

The country suffered major floods during the summer of 2012, where 100s died and 1000s were left homeless, and once again in July and August of 2013.

Flooding and severe weather on North Korea in the past have resulted in food shortages. The UN report that the most recent floods have destroyed more that 4,000 hectares of crops.