N. Korea says floods killed 169, left 400 missing

Floods which hit parts of North Korea in recent weeks killed 169 people and left 400 missing, the state news agency said Saturday, sharply updating earlier casualty figures.

It said the floods and torrential rain between late June and the end of July also made 212,200 people homeless and washed away or inundated 65,280 hectares (161,310 acres) of cropland.

United Nations agencies have visited the worst-hit areas to assess aid needs and the World Food Programme (WFP) is sending an initial shipment of emergency food aid.

The country suffered a famine in the 1990s that killed hundreds of thousands and still struggles to feed its people even in normal times.

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

More than 8,600 houses were destroyed and another 43,770 swamped, and more than 1,400 schools, hospitals and factories collapsed, the news agency said.

Official media had previously reported 119 deaths, with 84,000 people made homeless and 45,370 hectares of farmland damaged.

The WFP said its initial assistance would provide victims with an initial ration of 400 grams (14 ounces) of maize a day for 14 days, after the UN assessment mission found considerable damage to maize, soybean and rice fields.

The mission has said immediate food aid is needed for residents of the worst-hit counties, such as Anju and Songchon in South Pyongan province and Chonnae in Kangwon province.

It also stressed that tens of thousands of families urgently need clean drinking water to prevent disease.

Wells had 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, the UN mission said about 50,000 families 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 also badly needed.

The assessment mission said Thursday 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," it said in a report.

Outdated and inefficient agricultural practices, along with a shortage of fertiliser and diversion of food to the military, have contributed to the annual food shortages.

The mountainous North is also short of arable land.

But widespread deforestation, partly to clear land for crops, has made the impoverished nation increasingly prone to serious flooding which ends up washing away the harvest.

In February the United States reached a deal 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.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low
    Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low

    Philippine economic growth in the first quarter slowed to a three-year low of 5.2 percent, well below forecasts, due to lethargic government spending and weak exports, officials said Thursday. "While growth in the private sector remains robust, the slower than programmed pace of public spending, particularly the decline in public construction, has slowed down the overall growth of the economy," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters. "Exports were the other source of the …

  • EM ASIA FX-Won near 2-month low on plunging yen, peso pares gains as growth weakens

    * S.Korea intervention spotted, won hits 7-year high vs yen * Philippine peso briefly weaker after Q1 growth disappoints (Adds text, updates prices) By Jongwoo Cheon SEOUL, May 28 (Reuters) - South Korea's ... …

  • Britain's tied visa rules fuel abuse of live-in maids, nannies

    By Katie Nguyen LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Susi, a single mother from the Philippines, left for a job in Qatar, she convinced herself it was a sacrifice worth making for her children at home. For more than a year, Susi's sacrifice involved waking before dawn and working past midnight, cooking, cleaning and looking after a Qatari family. Conditions deteriorated when Susi was brought to Britain by her boss. …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Philippines at four-month low after Q1 GDP miss

    BANGKOK, May 28 (Reuters) - Philippine shares hit a more than four-month low on Thursday after economic growth in the first quarter was slower than expected, while Thai stocks retreated after disappointing ... …

  • Philippine economic growth slows to 5.2 percent in 1Q

    Sluggish government spending slowed Philippine economic growth in the first quarter of this year, officials said Thursday. The country's gross domestic product grew by 5.2 percent in the first quarter, ... …

  • PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices
    PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices

    Set to move to a unified headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in 2016, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has issued plans to sell their offices in Makati and Ortigas. PSE President Hans Sicat issued that PSE means to sell the offices, but that they may also opt to rent them out instead. …

  • ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’
    ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’

    While strong earthquakes cause tsunamis in coastal areas, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned that inland areas could also be exposed to tsunami-like waves, or seiche, if located near or around bodies of water. In a recent earthquake awareness seminar in Muntinlupa, Phivolcs supervising science research specialist Joan Salcedo explained that a seiche is a large wave similar to a tsunami, triggered by strong ground shaking from an earthquake or volcanic …

  • China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations
    China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations

    China gave the Philippines a “gentle reminder” last Tuesday that Beijing will not bully small countries but warned these nations not to make trouble willfully and endlessly. “Here is a gentle reminder to the Philippines: China will not bully small countries, meanwhile, small countries shall not make trouble willfully and endlessly. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that China would continue to build other civilian facilities on relevant maritime features in the disputed Spratly Islands …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options