Current Emergencies – Flooding in DPR Korea
Friday, 23 August 2013
While all immediate needs are considered met to the extent possible, the response to the flooding that occurred as a result of heavy rain from 12 to 22 July, continues in most affected provinces/counties in order to restore livelihoods and access to basic services in the areas of shelter, health, water, sanitation and hygiene.
At the same time, humanitarian agencies in DPR Korea are making efforts to replenish emergency stocks of food and non-food relief items to ensure adequate preparedness capacity in the event of a new emergency.
There is shortage of essential drugs and equipment in health facilities to cope with the basic health needs of people in affected areas. High risk of epidemic spread of water borne diseases is potential, if the humanitarian assistance is not sustained.
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Monday 2 August 2013
Exceptionally heavy seasonal rain in mid-July resulted in flooding in many parts of DPRK Korea. Particularly severely affected are the provinces of North and South Pyongan. Many places had over twice the average rainfall for July in three days. There are a reported 33 deaths with 18 people still missing.
The Government has reported that there has been extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure with a current total of 48,688 people made homeless across the country, mostly in the two provinces of North and South Pyonang. Farmland was inundated with 11,567 hectares affected with around 1,125 hectares of farmland washed away or otherwise destroyed.
UN agencies carried out assessment missions on 24 July to two counties in North Pyongang – Pakchon and Taechon and in those two areas confirmed the scale of the flood damage. Further assessment missions will take place this week.
Damage to water systems is widespread and there is already an increased incidence of diarrhoea in some areas. Anju city, which was 80% flooded will only have its pumping stations fully operational again in about two weeks. 30 other communities have had their drinking water systems damaged.
Damage to agricultural land is extensive though estimates of crop damage vary and further assessment missions in the next week should give a more accurate number once the flood waters have fully receded. Apart from the farmland that was physically swept away or buried, damage to the standing crops may not be as extensive as first reports suggested as many fields were flooded by heavy rain rather than by flash flooding and, unless there is further heavy rain, seem likely to largely recover.
Transport infrastructure has suffered with at least 20 bridges and 11km of embankments and 143 areas where roads have been eroded, washed away or blocked by landslides. Government surveys show that 27 schools were completely destroyed in four provinces, with a further 10 being badly damaged. Many others have suffered more minor damage, though currently it is the summer break, so at present schooling is not being disrupted. Medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics and nursing homes also were affected with 3 being destroyed and 14 badly damaged.
Thursday 25 July 2013
Heavy seasonal rain over the past two weeks has resulted in flooding in many parts of DPR Korea. Particularly severely affected are the provinces of North and South Pyongan. The Red Cross (IFRC) reports that Anju City, South Pyongyang province is 80% flooded after the Chongchon River caused embankments to break in the early hours of 21 July 2013. There are conflicting reports about the number of casualties with between 8 and 24 deaths and 14 people missing.
The government has reported, in its initial assessment, that there has been extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure with 45,948 people made homeless across the country, mostly in the two provinces of North and South Pyonang. Farmland has been inundated with some 10,000 hectares affected with around 1,000 hectares of crops destroyed.
The UN has dispatched assessment teams to some of the areas identified by the government as most badly affected and will be reporting on the damage latter today.
As per information received from the provincial branch of the Red Cross the city of Anju has been inundated with flood waters up to 2 meters deep. Road accessibility is limited and communication lines have been disrupted. Furthermore, the city water supply system has been damaged.
The DPRK Red Cross Society National Disaster Response team has been activated. Rapid needs assessment have been conducted by the DPRK RC and clean water and shelter have been identified as the most pressing needs.
2 water treatment units were deployed in the affected area on 21 July. The local branch of the Red Cross has been responding to the disaster with volunteers mobilized in rescue, evacuation and the operation of the water purification units.
The local police have been involved in providing rescue services to the affected people. The government has been providing food and water trucks for drinking water to the affected communities. Medicine kits handed to the local health institution in June by the Red Cross are being distributed by the government.
The current weather forecast is for mostly fine weather for the next few days.