More than 130 killed in North Korean floods: UN report

More than 130 people have died and nearly 400 are missing in North Korea after Typhoon Lionrock caused severe flooding, according to a United Nations report released on Monday.

Flooding in the country's north-east along the Tumen River, which borders China, has displaced tens of thousands of people and destroyed homes, buildings and critical infrastructure, the report said.

"At least 140,000 people are in urgent need of assistance. Of those,over 100,000 people are estimated to have been displaced," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report, which relied on figures confirmed by Pyongyang.

"An estimated 600,000 people in more than six counties have also been affected by the interruption of water supply systems," it continued.

OCHA said around 35,500 houses had been damaged, 69 per cent of whichwere completed destroyed, while a further 8,700 buildings, including schools and public buildings, had been severely damaged.

Around 16,000 hectares of farm land had also been flooded.

A group made up of UN agencies, the North Korean Red Cross and other aid organizations had visited flood affected areas last week, OCHA said, but were unable to access all areas.

Humanitarian agencies had begun distributing relief supplies including food, water purification kits and emergency health supplies, the report said.

With North Korea's long and severe winter looming, the government has pledged to rebuild 20,000 houses by the beginning of October.

Typhoon Lionrock also caused havoc in Japan at the end of August, killing at least 19 people.    

Last update: Mon, 12/09/2016 - 11:05
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