DPR Korea: Heat Wave - Aug 2018Ongoing
On 2 August 2018, the DPRK RCS officially informed the IFRC Country Office in the DPRK of a developing emergency in both South Pyongan and South Hamgyong Provinces due to a recent heat wave which is severely affecting agricultural production. The heat wave has brought temperatures of over 39℃ across the country as of 3 August. The heat wave started as of 11 July 2018 and is expected to last at least 23 days. This climatic event is seriously affecting agricultural production of the country. There have been reported casualties among elderly people and children due to heat stroke and these reports are being followed up by the local branches whose catchment area covers a total population of 13,768. It is anticipated that this weather pattern will continue until mid-August and will significantly reduce the yield, especially that of maize that is showing signs of withering and affect the livelihood of the people in the affected communities. According to state media, Rodong Sinmun (Korean Workers' Party newspaper) the Pyongyang government has declared a state of emergency on 2 August 2018 because of the unusually hot weather. (IFRC, 4 Aug 2018)
With few other options to intervene with existing resources in-country, the focus by DPRK RCS and the government of DPRK is to concentrate on preserving the crops that are due for harvest in September. Any threat to food security will have a serious effect on an already stressed population in terms of food availability and the risk of increased malnutrition which will affect the most vulnerable sectors of the affected population – children, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly and those with underlying illnesses. Initial reports indicate crop damage synonymous with the occurrences of the dry spells of 2014 and 2017. (IFRC, 9 Aug 2018)
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Beijing/Geneva, 10 August 2018 – A heatwave in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will have serious health consequences for children and elderly people unless urgent action is taken.
Description of the disaster
This bulletin is being issued for information only and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Red Cross Society (DPRK RCS), with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has determined that available information points toward significant humanitarian needs that may require support from the IFRC Disaster Relief Emergency Fund.
Citizens urged to wage all-out battle to preserve food stocks amid ‘unprecedented’ drought
The North Korean government has called on its people to wage an “all-out battle” against a record heatwave as the country’s already fragile crops face drought and the authorities struggle to respond.