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North Korea asks UN agency to help with "massive" floods

by Staff Writers
Geneva Aug 14, 2007
North Korea has asked the UN's food relief agency for help in the wake of "massive" floods, a spokesman for the World Food Programme said Tuesday. North Korean authorities said the floods are worse than those that reportedly left hundreds dead or missing and tens of thousands homeless in central and southern regions last year, WFP spokesman Simon Pluess told AFP. "Pyongyang has made a preliminary request for the WFP's assistance," Pluess said. "The floods are apparently massive, with a greater impact than those that occurred last year," he added. The WFP was unable to give any figures on the scale of the latest flooding. A United Nations assessment team is to travel from the North Korean capital Pyongyang to the stricken areas in the next day or so, Pluess said. North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has said that downpours since August 7 had caused "huge human and material damage." As of August 12 they had had left hundreds of people dead or missing and destroyed more than 30,000 houses for over 63,300 families, it added. State television has shown flooded streets in Pyongyang. The UN's humanitarian coordination office (OCHA) in Geneva said it had not received any official information on the scale of the floods in North Korea or on any aid needs. Community
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