Flooding leaves 135 dead, 395 missing and more than 100 000 displaced in North Korea

Flooding leaves 135 dead, 395 missing and more than 100 000 displaced in North Korea

Heavy rains triggered by Typhoon "Lionrock" in combination with a low pressure system has caused widespread flooding in Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from August 29 to 31, 2016. As of September 11, more than 133 people have been killed and another 395 people remain missing.

More than 300 mm (11.8 inches) of rain were reported in just two days, causing flooding of the Tumen River and its branches in North Hamgyong Province of DPRK. The affected cities and counties include Hoeryong City, Musan County, Yonsa County, Chongjin City, Kimchaek City, Orang County, Kyongsong County, Kilju County, and Rason City area.

The floods have displaced tens of thousands of people and destroyed homes, buildings, and other critical infrastructure. Areas along the flooded Tumen River are acutely impacted with Musan and Yonsa counties and Hoeryong City in North Hamgyong Province particularly severely affected, UN OCHA reports.

The Government has confirmed that 133 people have been killed and another 395 people remain missing as a result of the floods.

More than 35 500 houses have been damaged, 69% of which have been completed destroyed, and a further 8 700 buildings, including schools and public buildings, have been damaged. Around 16 000 hectares (39 540 acres) of arable land has been inundated.

Based on official figures and assessment findings, at least 140 000 people are in urgent need of assistance. Of those, over 100 000 people are estimated to have been displaced.

An estimated 600 000 people in more than six counties have also been affected by the interruption of water supply systems. The most affected areas in Musan and Yonsa counties remain inaccessible.

The Government is urgently working to reopen the roads to improve access to affected areas, and is distributing relief goods and building materials. They are also prioritizing to immediately rebuild 20 000 houses by early October, in advance of winter, with support from the humanitarian community.

Sources: IFRC, UN OCHA

Featured image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS. Acquired: August 31, 2016

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