Tags: north korea | flooding | ask | help

North Korea Flooding Forces Country to Ask for Help Days After Nuke Test

Image: North Korea Flooding Forces Country to Ask for Help Days After Nuke Test

In this undated image from video distributed on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, by North Korean broadcaster KRT, North Korean workers build levees along a river bank. North Korea is mobilizing to deal with a disastrous flood that killed more than 130 people, destroyed tens of thousands of homes and crippled infrastructure in its northern-most province. (KRT via AP)

By    |   Monday, 12 Sep 2016 04:30 PM

The aftermath of late August flooding in North Korea has left more than 100,000 people homeless and put the North Korean government in the awkward position of asking for help from an international community it defied by conducting a nuclear test only days before.

North Korean officials reported the flooding was a result of the “strongest storm and heaviest downpour” since the end of World War II, The Washington Post reported. More than 600,000 people have lost their water supplies, and 140,000 need urgent assistance. One hundred thirty-three people have been confirmed dead in the flooding and another 395 are missing.

Red Cross and Red Crescent representative Chris Staines visited the devastation and said the damage is even worse than statistics indicate.

“The damage is very extensive, and there is clear evidence that the floodwaters were not only very high — you can see the water marks above the window frames — but also moving very rapidly in some places,” Staines told The Washington Post in an interview from Pyongyang. Gardens and livestock were washed away, leaving entire households with nothing.

Many roads are still impassible because of water and debris, and communication is still cut off in many locations. Tens of thousands of homes and public buildings have collapsed from the water, and factories and crops have been destroyed.

The desperate conditions have led North Korean authorities to plan an international appeal for donations despite the scorn of many in the international community for North Korea’s nuclear test policies.

Practices like deforestation for home heating and planting crops on all usable land have made flooding worse, since there is less vegetation to slow down runoff and absorb the water. Furthermore, many houses in the poorer northern area were constructed with locally produced bricks that are not well made.

Officials and aid workers like Staines hope donor nations will remember that flooding has harmed regular people who don’t have anything to do with North Korea’s nuclear test policies. Staines said of the people, “We could see their spirit and energy and their support for each other. These are people who are doing the best they can.”

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The aftermath of late August flooding in North Korea has left more than 100,000 people homeless and put the North Korean government in the awkward position of asking for help from an international community it defied by conducting a nuclear test only days before.
north korea, flooding, ask, help
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2016-30-12
Monday, 12 Sep 2016 04:30 PM
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