Flood toll in N.Korea at 454 dead, 156 missing

from Korean Information Service
Published on 27 Aug 2007
Floods in North Korea have left at least 454 dead, 156 missing, and 4,351 injured, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Sunday. In a comprehensive compilation of reports on flood damage from North Korean authorities and international agencies, UNOCHA said torrential rains in early August affected more than 436,000 residents in six provinces and 92 counties in North Korea.

The OCHA report said 169,561 North Koreans became homeless, with some 40,463 homes completely destroyed, 67,056 partially destroyed, and 133,732 submerged. Some 223,381 hectares of farmland were damaged, with about 20 percent of North Korea's paddy fields and 15 percent of its corn fields flooded or washed away. The agency estimates that the North will end up with over 1 million tons of crop less than in previous years. North Korea's yearly crop is about 4.5 million tons, while about 1 million tons of grain is donated by South Korea and other countries every year. UNOCHA warned of a threat of infectious diseases in the wake of the floods.

The state-run (North) Korean Central News Agency on Saturday quoted the Central Statistics Bureau as saying the floods left more than 600 people dead or missing and thousands injured. It spoke of 240,000 homes damaged and some 100,000 people displaced. Damage to farmland was given at 200,000 hectares. Some 600 km of roads were destroyed in about 2,000 locations, including the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway, which President Roh Moo-hyun and his entourage will travel for the second-round inter-Korean summit.

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