DPR Korea: Floods and landslides Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) update n° 1 DREF n° MDRKP012

Situation Report
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Description of the disaster

Heavy downpours, which started on 28 August 2018, caused large-scale flooding and landslides to low-lying areas in North and South Hwanghae provinces of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). A total of 76 people is confirmed dead and 73 were reported missing just after the disaster. Three people were later located, the 70 people still missing are presumed dead. Among missing people, 3 are identified to be alive and the others identified as died. Over 3,200 houses were destroyed in addition to clinics, schools and kindergartens. Over 10,000 people became displaced since their houses were fully destroyed, partially destroyed, or submerged. Significant damage was also done to the water supply systems. The persistent heavy rains (such as 100 mm/ hr for several hours) over a 48-hour period caused flash floods in five counties in North Hwanghae and four counties in South Hwanghae provinces, which located in the south-west part of DPRK.

A total of 3,237 houses were affected in the North and South Hwanghae provinces with some partially damaged, some completely destroyed, and others submerged in the floodwater, where the most affected area is Kumchon County in North Hwanghae province. In total, it is estimated that around 10,681 people were displaced and are living with family, neighbours, or in temporary shelters. The entire communities have been affected especially those whose houses were close to the river. In Eup Town, Kumchon County a landslide destroyed several houses and in the nearby valley, over 77 houses were washed away with a significant loss of life. The government has provided population figures for the affected counties indicating that a total of 581,268 people was affected – North Hwanghae (308,070) and South Hwanghae (273,198).

At the time of this disaster, DPRK was also affected by a series of weather-related disasters. The country suffered from a heatwave in July and august, affecting 13,768 people in South Hamgyong and South Phyongan provinces, damaging crops and causing health issues associated with heatstroke. Additionally, typhoon Soulik made landfall on 24 August, bringing further rain and winds leading to severe flooding to South Hamgyong and Kangwon provinces, displacing close to 60,000 people. The combined effects of these events will have a significant negative effect on the harvests with potentially high impact on nutrition and health. Three operations are therefore being carried out in separate locations by DPRK RCS.

To allow for immediate disaster response, DPRK RCS with support from IFRC requested a DREF allocation of CHF 383,123. This operation is focusing on supporting DPRK RCS in disaster response activities, by mobilizing volunteers and staff in conducting needs assessment and provision of non-food items (NFIs), health and water and sanitation interventions and providing first aid and psychosocial support. The operation will last for five months, longer than the standard DREF operation. This is to allow time for potentially lengthy procurement processes for DPRK.