DPR Korea: Typhoon Soulik - DREF Operation Update n° 2, DREF n° MDRKP011


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. On 23 August 2018, 6 a.m. local time, Typhoon Soulik began 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 of 23 August, 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 led to flash flooding and mudslides across the rugged terrain in Kangwon and South Hamgyong provinces, with close to 60,000 people displaced.

DPRK already suffered from a heatwave in July and August, affecting 13,768 people in South Hamgyong and South Phyongan Provinces. Many people had not recovered from the heatwaves at the onset of the rains following typhoon Soulik. The typhoon therefore further increased the food insecurity, not just in the affected areas, but also in the entire country which is dependent on the Public Distribution System and agricultural outputs throughout the country. 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, and further assessments, the plan of action and budget was revised. A 2nd DREF allocation of an additional CHF 291,086 was approved, bringing the total budget to CHF 342,046. Based on the needs and a rapid assessment, the number of people to be assisted was revised to 42,500 direct beneficiaries, with a focus in two provinces; Kangwon and South Hamgyong. Due to the requirement to scale up the operation, the operation timeframe was extended from one to five months.