(Seoul) North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong-un ordered on Sunday that aid should be sent to areas of the country affected by the flood, from which around 5,000 people had to be evacuated.
Posted on Aug 7, 2021 at 7:46 pm
Pictures that were broadcast on Saturday by the state broadcaster KCTV showed houses that were flooded to roof height, as well as apparently damaged bridges from heavy rains.
“Hundreds of hectares of farmland” were flooded in the southern province of South Hamgyong, and streets and houses were damaged after the levees broke, the canal reports.
The bad weather comes after Kim Jong-un admitted in June that his country was facing “food stress”.
According to the state news agency KCNA, he ordered the delivery of relief supplies and financial aid on Sunday to help South Hamgyong Province return to normal.
Officials in that province discussed “emergency measures to quickly stabilize the lives of people in the hardest hit areas,” she said on Thursday.
With the ground already soaked, further rainfall could cause even more damage, Ri Yong Nam, deputy head of the North Korean Weather Service, told KCTV. “We expect heavy rainfall by August 10th in several regions, mostly near the east coast,” he continued.
North Korea may face a food shortage of 860,000 tons this year, according to forecasts by the United Nations Food Administration (FAO) released in July. The agency warned of “a difficult dry spell between August and October”.
The North Korean regime, which is subject to international sanctions for its banned military programs, has long been struggling to feed its people and regularly suffers from food shortages.
Pressure on the North Korean economy has been increased by orderly border closings to combat the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a series of storms and floods in 2020.
North Korea experienced a very severe famine in the 1990s that killed hundreds of thousands when aid from Moscow was scaled back after the collapse of the Soviet Union.