DPRK Flood Damage Reports by KCNA

[Heavy rains in the past weeks have caused considerable flood damage in both parts of the Korean Peninsula. The DPRK Permanent Mission to the UN in New York has provided CanKor with a collection of articles appearing in the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) that describe the damage caused to cropland, dwellings and industrial buildings. As of 28 July, the human toll of the floods was 23 lives lost, 8 injured, 4 missing and 8860 homeless. An appended spreadsheet itemizes losses and damage per city, county and province. See DPRK Data on Flood Damage-updated on Jul 28-2011. For pictures and a video of  some of the damage, see DPRK Hit by Heavy Rain Again on the new KCNA website. –CanKor.]

Photo by KCNA

DPRK Hit by Heavy Rain Again 

Pyongyang, July 28 (KCNA) — Many areas of the DPRK have been seriously affected by heavy rainfalls again.

According to data available for the Hydro-meteorological Service, 100-500mm torrential rains came down in some areas of North and South Hwanghae, Kangwon and South Hamgyong provinces and Kaesong City from around 00:00 Tuesday to noon Thursday.

It rained 564mm, 469mm, 339mm and 337mm in South Hwanghae Province’s Chongdan, Pongchon and Kangryong counties and Haeju City respectively. And it rained 397mm in Kaesong City and 343mm, 333mm, 328mm in Kangwon Province’s Sepho, Phyonggang and Changdo counties respectively and 341mm in Phyongsan County, North Hwanghae Province.

The downpours severely damaged economic sectors in the afflicted areas. An initial survey shows more than 36 000 hectares of cropland were flooded in South Hwanghae Province, some 20 000 hectares of them being submerged. Thousands of dwelling houses and hundreds of industrial establishments, schools and public buildings were destroyed.

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CIA Assesses Flooding in DPRK

Floods in Wonsan, DPRK

Residents look over floodwaters in Wonsan, DPRK. File photo: AP

Steven Aftergood of Secrecy News, a publication of the Federation of American Scientists, shared a CIA study on major floods due to rainfall in North Korea since 1996. The study was undertaken in order to devise a framework for evaluating the significance of floods and their likely consequences for North Korean agriculture. From the article:

The analysts identified four principal variables:  the intensity of the rainfall, the location of the rainfall, the time of year, and damage to non-agricultural infrastructure.

“Rainfall intensity and geography of flooding appear to be key variables with the most impact,” their report (pdf) said. “Critical periods in the agricultural growth cycle — for sowing, growing, and harvesting — and the scope and severity of infrastructure damage are compounding variables that can magnify the impact of major floods in key food producing areas.” Read the rest of this entry »

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