Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

N. Koreans urgently need drinking water after floods: UN
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Aug 2, 2012

Tens of thousands of flood-hit North Korean families urgently need clean drinking water to prevent disease outbreaks, UN agencies said Thursday.

The agencies and other aid groups reported their assessment a day after state media reported a total of 119 deaths and major crop damage in recent weeks in the food-scarce nation.

The UN said wells have been contaminated by overflowing latrines, creating a high risk of a diarrhoea outbreak, while floods had damaged water sources and pumping stations.

Citing government figures, it said about 50,000 families in six badly-hit counties would need purification tablets or other help to secure clean water.

The UN children's fund UNICEF has ordered 10 million tablets along with other materials. Drugs and IV fluids were badly needed.

The report said a hospital in Chonnae county had already seen a fourfold rise in diarrhoea cases. "In general, unless... needs are addressed, rapid increase in diarrhoea, skin infection and respiratory infections could occur."

The North late Wednesday reported 31 killed by landslides and lightning during storms on Sunday and Monday and 16 missing, in addition to 88 earlier reported dead in floods and storms last month.

More than 21,000 people lost their homes in the latest storms, bringing the total made homeless by the recent bad weather to around 84,000, it said.

A total of 45,370 hectares (122,500 acres) of farmland had been submerged or washed away.

Coal mines in the Kaechon and Tokchon areas were also hit by "devastating" floods and tens of thousands of tonnes of coal and equipment was washed away.

The flooding represents a challenge for Kim Jong-Un, new leader of a nation which has grappled with severe food shortages since a famine in the 1990s killed hundreds of thousands.

UN agencies estimated last autumn that three million people would need food aid this year even before the deluge.

The UN report said it was difficult at present to assess the longer-term impact on food supplies, but any future floods in the cereal basket regions would hit food production more severely.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said it would allocate 300,969 Swiss francs (almost $308,000) to cover the cost of immediate help for some 2,500 families.

Widespread deforestation, partly to clear land for crops, has made the impoverished nation increasingly prone to serious flooding which washes away the harvest.

IFRC regional spokesman Francis Markus, in an email to AFP, said the landslides were a reminder of the severe deforestation which the IFRC was trying to correct.

Millions of seedlings were planted every year under a programme which began several years ago.


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Philippine floods persist, toll rises to 23
Manila (AFP) Aug 2, 2012
Rescuers deployed rubber boats while doctors fanned across cramped evacuation centres in the Philippines as the death toll from five days of flooding reached 23 on Thursday, officials said. Large farming towns north of the capital Manila as well as heavily populated coastal areas remained under waist deep floods, with television footage showing residents wading in muddy waters as they tried ... read more

Queen, politicians, Nobel winner named to UN social panel

Sri Lanka navy urges Australia to deport boatpeople

Samurai festival returns to disaster-hit Japan

UNHCR official to visit Rakhine state

From Microns to Centimeters

Raytheon awarded contract to advance Dual Band Radar development

Apple extends gains in surging tablet market: survey

Apple asks for verdict after Samsung 'misconduct'

France's Veolia boosts cost cutting, stock tumbles

Earth absorbs more of our CO2 emissions: science

Spillways can divert sand from river to rebuild wetlands

Coral reef thriving in sediment-laden waters

Researchers analyze melting glaciers and water resources in Central Asia

Who owns the North Pole?

China to build first polar-expedition icebreaker

Hidden rift valley discovered beneath West Antarctica reveals new insight into ice loss

UCLA research makes possible rapid assessment of plant drought tolerance

Parched fields as drought devastates US crops

Public strongly supports programs helping farmers adapt to climate change

Study: All chickens have Asian roots

Six dead as Typhoon Saola lashes Taiwan

N. Koreans urgently need drinking water after floods: UN

Philippine floods persist, toll rises to 23

Typhoon Saola makes landfall in Taiwan

Mali wives prevent loyalist soldiers' arrest

Panetta to visit North Africa, Middle East

Brother of exiled Rwandan ex-army chief gets 9 years' jail

Mozambique told to tackle crime

Modern culture 44,000 years ago

Hey, I'm over here: Men and women see things differently

Piglets in mazes provide insights into human cognitive development

Genomic study of Africa's hunter-gatherers elucidates human variation and ancient interbreeding

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement