Seasonal rains cause extensive flooding in DPRK

Published: 12 August 2015 4:44 CET

By Khaled Masud, IFRC

The Democratic People’s Republic of  Korea (DPRK) is experiencing flooding associated with seasonal rains, hitting areas like Hwanghae and the south and north Hamgyong provinces since early August. According to the State Committee on Emergency and Disaster Management (SCEDM), the Government of  DPRK and DPRK Red Cross Society, 3,455 people were affected, 21 were reported dead while 9 others remain missing. The floods have damaged or destroyed 968 houses and are expected to worsen in the coming days as the rainy season continues.

The DPRK Red Cross Society has swiftly reacted to the situation by providing immediate assistance and safe evacuation of people marooned in the affected areas. During the evacuation, the National Society, together with local authorities, deployed 30 provincial disaster response teams (PDRT) along with local Red Cross volunteers to conduct rapid assessments. Plans for a more comprehensive situational assessment in the worst-hit area, Byoksong county in the South Hwanghae province, are now underway.

"Along with rapid assessments, we have visited the disaster sites to find out what the immediate needs are," said Mr Ri Ho Him, Secretary General of the DPRK Red Cross Society. "At the moment, drinking water, emergency shelter, warm clothing, cooking facilities and hygiene kits are a priority."

In support of the Red Cross response, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will provide non-food items such as family tents, tarpaulins, kitchen sets, jerry cans, hygiene kits, and water purification tablets to be distributed to the affected communities.

"The IFRC is working closely with the National Society to reinforce its capacity for detailed needs assessments and response actions," said Chris Staines, the IFRC Head of Delegation in the DPRK.