Sunday, July 29, 2012

Flood-hit North Korea braces for more heavy rain

Radio Australia: State media says heavy rains are expected in most parts of the country over the next two days, with downpours set to deluge the west coast and the northern province of Jagang. More than 200 millimetres are forecast in some areas.

The warning comes a day after North Korea revealed floods which began on July 18 killed 88 people, injured more than 130, and left almost 63,000 people homeless. State-run KCNA says more than 30,000 hectares of farmland have been 'washed away', with roads and factories destroyed.

After decades of deforestation the impoverished North is particularly vulnerable to flooding. Dozens were killed or injured by a storm and torrential rains in June and July last year, which left thousands homeless and large areas of farmland flooded.

With rugged terrain and outmoded agricultural practices, the communist state faces serious difficulties in feeding its 24 million people. Hundreds of thousands died during a famine in the mid to late 1990s. Following a visit to the country, UN agencies estimated last November that three million people would need food aid in 2012....

Korea Bay in North Korea, via NASA

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