Overwhelmed by floods, North Korea appeals to the world for assistance

Following an endless stream of heavy rains and flash floods in late August and early September, North Korea is pleading for humanitarian relief to save the endangered population in its northeast region.

Preferring to fixate on expanding his fledgling nuclear program, Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un, is ignoring the humanitarian catastrophe.

Aid groups say 130 people have been killed, an additional 400 are missing,  and over 30,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, swallowed by flooding.  A lack of fresh drinking water is threatening over 100,000 North Korean citizens.

Late August rains turning into flash floods devoured counties of Musan and Yonsa in the North Hamgyong Province after the Tumen River overflowed and inundated Hoeryong City and surrounding areas.

Assessing the havoc, the Red Cross has designated the disaster both “critical and complex” amid concern the situation will continue to deteriorate as winter approaches.

“The death toll rising certainly is a huge worry. The need for permanent shelter for people that have lost their homes is extremely urgent.  With over 30,000 homes damaged or destroyed the Government has prioritized the rebuilding of 20,000 houses as early as possible before winter sets in.  People cannot live in temporary shelters given the extreme weather conditions from October onwards when temperatures reach sub-zero and plunge to -30 degrees or lower,” said Joy Singhal, British Red Cross North Korea Country Manager.

Worse, as North Korea has faced famine conditions several times in the last two decades, critical crops of rice and corn were devastated weeks before harvesting leaving many in the region without a food supply in a nation which already hosts 16 million suffering from malnutrition.

 

[The Mirror] [Photo courtesy BBC]