Democratic People's Republic of Korea: Typhoon Soulik Operation Update n° 1 (MDRKP011)

Situation Report
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Description of the disaster

Tropical Storm Soulik was formed off the coast of Guam on 16 August 2018 as a small storm and gradually grew to a medium-sized typhoon. As of 23 August 2018, 6 a.m. local time, Typhoon Soulik has begun arcing towards the Korean Peninsula. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, Soulik struck the southern island of Jeju in South Korea in the early morning on 23 August 2018, causing heavy rain and gale force winds.

Although Typhoon Soulik weakened after making landfall in South Korea, the rain belt caused by the Typhoon brought unstable weather and heavy downpour in DPRK. Heavy rainfall spreading across the Korean Peninsula lead to flash flooding and mudslides across the rugged terrain in Kangwon and South Hamgyong provinces, with close to 60,000 people being displaced.

NDRT members and local Red Cross branches conducted rapid assessment over the weekend on 24 – 26 August 2018. The initial findings show that on 24 August, DPRK experienced unprecedented floods in Kangwon and South Hamgyong Provinces due to torrential rains and tidal wave caused by Tropical Storm Soulik. In Munchon and Wonsan Cities, Kangwon Province and Kowon County, South Hamgyong Provinces, 300-600mm of rain was recorded within 24 hours, which is more than half of its annual average rainfall. This caused wide spread damages and loss of lives, properties and belongings. While in the worst affected city, Munchon City, Kangwon Province, more than 600mm of rainfall was recorded within 24 hours causing floods where 10 people were reported to have lost their lives and 60 people missing. Search and Rescue volunteers, including Red Cross volunteers, are still (as of the 30 August) searching for the missing people. There has been no reported loss of lives in Kumya and Kowon Counties, South Hamgyong Province.

South Phyongan Provinces. Many people have not recovered from the heat waves, and the rains following the typhoon destroyed many crop fields, in particular maize fields, and further increased the food insecurity. In order to better prepare for the potential risk, and to allow immediate disaster response, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Red Cross Society (DPRK RCS), with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), requested an imminent crisis DREF allocation of CHF 50,960, to provide early warning actions, mobilization of volunteers and staff, needs assessment, and provision of non-food relief items (NFIs). The operation timeframe was initially one month. Following the rains and floods in Kangwon and South Hamgyong provinces, as well as further assessments, the plan of action and budget has been revised.