World

Floods follow drought in North Korea

People waited on the roof of a house Monday in Anju, one of the North Korean cities hardest hit by flooding.
Kim Kwang Hyon/Associated press
People waited on the roof of a house Monday in Anju, one of the North Korean cities hardest hit by flooding.

ANJU, North Korea — More heavy rain pounded North Korea on Monday, submerging buildings, cutting off power, flooding rice paddies, and forcing people and their livestock to climb onto rooftops for safety.

The rain follows downpours earlier this month that killed nearly 90 people and left more than 60,000 homeless, officials said. The floods come on the heels of a severe drought, fueling renewed food worries about a country that already struggles to feed its people.

Two-thirds of North Korea’s 24 million people face chronic food shortages, a United Nations report said last month. South Korean analyst Kwon Tae Jin said the recent flooding, coming so soon after the dry spell, will probably worsen the North’s food problems.

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On Sunday and Monday, rain hit the capital Pyongyang and other regions, with western coastal areas reporting heavy damage.

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In Anju city in South Phyongan Province, officials reported that 1,000 houses and buildings were destroyed and 5,680 acres of farmland were completely covered.

Kim Kwang Dok, vice chairman of the Anju City People’s Committee, said the disaster is the worst in the city’s history.

Helicopters flew to various areas to rescue flood victims, state media reported. Casualties from the latest rains were not immediately reported.

Associated Press