DPR Korea: Floods - Aug 2016

Disaster description

From 29 August to 31 August 2016, heavy rains fell in North Hamgyong Province, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). More than 300mm of rain were reported in just two days, causing flooding of the Tumen River and its branches in this region around the Chinese-DPRK border. (IFRC, 3 Sep 2016)

On 21 September, 2016, IFRC launched a CHF 15.2 million emergency appeal (USD 15.5 million, Euros 13.9 million) to reach more than 163,000 people affected. (IFRC, 21 Sep 2016)

As of 23 September, there have been 138 deaths reported, with a further 400 people missing and presumed dead. The number of injured people remains unknown. At least 140,000 people have been severely affected across six counties in the province of North Hamgyong in the northeast of the country. Over 30,000 houses have been damaged, submerged or completely destroyed and close to 70,000 people remain displaced. (IFRC, 23 Sep 2016)

As of 11 October, around 600,000 people need some form of assistance. The Humanitarian Country Team is supporting the Government’s response, and has released a DPRK Flood Emergency Response Plan targeting 600,000 people in: food security; nutrition; shelter; health; water, sanitation and hygiene; and education. The Country Team is requesting US$28.9 million to respond to humanitarian needs over the next six months. (OCHA, 11 Oct 2016)

Damage from the flooding included more than 35 500 houses, more than two-thirds of which were completely destroyed. Some 16 000 hectares of arable land was also inundated. Although floodwaters have now receded, humanitarian needs, particularly for basic relief supplies, remain immense in the worst-hit province: North Hamgyong, near the Chinese border. (ECHO, 20 Dec 2016)

The water purification, pumping and supply systems has been damaged by the floods, increasing the risk of water-borne diseases and significant risks of outbreaks of communicable diseases. Diarrhea and acute respiratory infections, particularly among the affected children, pregnant women and the elderly remain a concern. The Government has mobilized volunteers to assist in the rescue and relief operations as well as requested support from the international community residing in the country for roofing materials to rebuild houses, schools, clinics and kindergartens which are in short supply. (UNICEF, 30 Nov 2016)

On 19 November the Government of DPRK (GoDPRK) announced that their rehabilitation activities have been completed for the affected population. The GoDPRK reported a total of 11,928 families were relocated into new housing units and were provided with winter clothes, heating and basic household materials. The report goes on to conform that 57 kindergartens and nurseries, 13 hospitals, 18 kilometres of river embankment, 131 kilometres of road and 318 hectares of arable land have been rehabilitated. The GoDPRK reports distributing medical supplies and education materials for schools and announced that for the total rehabilitation approximately 370,000 people were mobilized (140,000 soldier builders + 230,000 civilians) from across the country to support the efforts. (IFRC, 5 Jan 2017)

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