Red Cross teams on high alert as Typhoon Lingling threatens five million in DPR Korea

Kuala Lumpur/Geneva, 6 September 2019 – As many as 5.3 million people in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are potentially at risk as Typhoon Lingling works its way towards the country’s south west[1].

Mohamed Babiker, Head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Country Office in DPRK, said:

“We are concerned about the potentially serious impact that Typhoon Lingling could have when it makes landfall on Saturday. Last year, despite not even making landfall, typhoon Soulik displaced nearly 60,000 people.”

“Strong winds, flash floods and landslides pose risk of serious injury and loss of life, damage to homes and infrastructure and destruction of vital crops. And Typhoon Lingling represents just the latest in a long line of challenges that communities in DPR Korea face, including severe food shortages as a result of ongoing drought.”

DPRK Red Cross has activated its early warning and preparedness systems and will, with the help of its extensive network of volunteers, issue storm alerts to potentially affected communities in North and South Hwanghae, as well as up to 4-5 additional provinces based on the forecasts. Red Cross volunteers and national and provincial disaster response teams are on standby to help with search and rescue, evacuation, first aid, distribution of emergency items and activities to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases.

To support this preparedness work, IFRC has released 56,000 Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to help mobilize emergency supplies such as tarpaulins, cooking sets, quilts, hygiene kits, water containers, water purification tablets and shelter tools. These items are in strategically-placed warehouses throughout the country and can be quickly dispatched as needed.

For more information:

In Pyongyang: Daniel Wallinder: +850 191 250 7921, daniel.wallinder@ifrc.org

In Kuala Lumpur: Caroline Haga; +60 111 769 5596, caroline.haga@ifrc.org

In Geneva: Matthew Cochrane: +41 79 251 8039, matthew.cochrane@ifrc.org

[1] Source: Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System