by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) July 31, 2012
United Nations teams were heading for flood-hit areas of North Korea to assess possible aid, a UN official said Tuesday, after Pyongyang reported scores dead and tens of thousands homeless.
The country's official news agency published photographs which appeared to show large swathes of submerged land and people wading through thigh-high water or taking refuge on rooftops.
UN officials already based in the North will visit the two worst-affected counties "to see what help if any the UN country team can provide", said UNICEF's Bangkok-based regional spokesman Christopher de Bono by email.
The teams have left Pyongyang, one heading for South Pyongan province in the west of the country and another for Kangwon province in the east, he said.
The flooding represents a challenge for Kim Jong-Un, new leader of a country which has grappled with severe food shortages since a famine in the 1990s killed hundreds of thousands.
Following an inspection visit last autumn, UN agencies estimated that three million people would need food aid this year even before the deluge.
Widespread deforestation, to collect firewood or clear land for crops, has made the impoverished nation increasingly prone to serious flooding which disrupts agriculture.
On Saturday the official news agency said a week-long flood earlier in July had left 88 dead, injured 134, and made almost 63,000 people homeless.
More than 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of crops were washed away or submerged, with roads and factories destroyed, it said.
On Sunday state media reported strong winds and heavy rain were battering parts of the country, including the capital Pyongyang. The official news agency predicted that "most regions will face huge damage".
Prime Minister Choe Yong-Rim visited Songchon county, one of the worst-hit areas in South Pyongan province, to assess damage and console residents, the news agency said Tuesday.
Choe and other officials discussed emergency transport of relief materials "while paying primary attention to stabilising the people's living" in flood-hit areas, it said.
He also inspected damage in Sinyang County in the same province and stressed the need for substantial afforestation.
The United States reached a deal in February to offer the North 240,000 tonnes of food in return for a freeze on nuclear and missile tests.
But the plan was scrapped after Pyongyang's failed rocket launch in April, seen by the US and its allies as an attempted ballistic missile test.
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.
N. Korea forecasts new storm damage after deadly floods
Seoul (AFP) July 29, 2012
North Korea said Sunday it was being lashed by severe thunderstorms that could cause major damage, just days after flooding that killed scores and left tens of thousands homeless. State media reported strong winds and heavy rains were battering parts of the country, including the capital Pyongyang, with the official news agency predicting that "most regions will face huge damages". The s ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - 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|