Special Report: Heavy rains and flooding in August affect primary rice producing areas in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

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  • The April to September main cropping season in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has been one of the wettest rainfall periods since 1981 across the southern agricultural producing provinces in the country (Figure 1,2). The majority of this rainfall was received in August (Figure 3), causing widespread flooding and inundating main season crops ready for harvest starting in September.

  • The main producing southern provinces have been the hardest hit from the record rainfall in August (Figure 3), causing flooding across parts of North Hwanghae Province, South Hwanghae Province, South Pyongan, North Pyongan, and Kangwon Province.

  • In early August, heavy rainfall from Typhoon 4 followed by additional rainfall through the first two weeks of the month resulted in landslides and flooding across the South, damaging 39,296 hectares of farmland, particularly in the North Hwanghae and Kangwon.

  • On August 27th, Typhoon Bavi made landfall over the coast of North Pyongan province, bringing further heavy rains and winds to the key rice-producing provinces of North Hwanghae and South Hwanghae and damaging standing crops.

  • This was followed by additional rains and damage to eastern coastal areas from Typhoons Maysak and Haishen at the start of September.

  • Rainfall totals this season have been higher in some areas than the record 2007 season when DPRK experienced widespread flooding over the main producing southwest provinces that make up the country’s “Cereal Bowl” with severe food security outcomes.

  • Forecasts indicate above-average rainfall is expected to continue through September which could increase the risk of further flood events during a time when harvests should be underway for main season crops.