North Korean video shows flooding from heavy rains

AP News
Posted: Jul 30, 2011 6:58 AM
North Korean video shows flooding from heavy rains

Heavy rains in recent days inundated rice fields in North Korea and parts of a border city in a country vulnerable to flooding damage.

North Korean state media have said the country is suffering "seriously" from flooding that has affected areas including North and South Hwanghae, Kangwon and South Hamgyoung provinces as well as the cities of Kaesong and Haeju.

Footage obtained Saturday by Associated Press Television News from North Korea's state broadcaster showed flooded and damaged rice fields and people wading through water in the city of Kaesong, just across the border from South Korea.

Also visible in the footage shot Tuesday through Friday was damage to a country road, a collapsed bridge, a bus left stranded and tilted at a precarious angle, bent over rice shoots and crops washed over by earth and gravel.

The Korean Central News Agency reported Friday that more than 1,605 acres (650 hectares) of cropland flooded in North Hwanghae province and roads, houses and public buildings were destroyed.

"A detailed survey is now under way and necessary measures have been taken to recover from the damage," the report said.

In a report Thursday, KCNA, the state news agency, said "thousands of dwelling houses and hundreds of industrial establishments, schools and public buildings were destroyed."

Heavy rainfall can be catastrophic for North Korea, given the country's impoverishment, poor drainage and deforestation. Floods in 2007 left some 600 people dead or missing and about 100,000 others homeless.

South Korea, where the economy and infrastructure is highly developed, nevertheless experienced unusually harsh damage beginning Wednesday from severe rainfall.

Dozens of people died in landslides and flooding in the capital Seoul and other areas.