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Building collapse caused by downpour kills 34 in N. Korea: source

All News 15:48 September 02, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- A five-story apartment building collapsed in North Korea's northern region after heavy rains and claimed the lives of 34 people, a source familiar with the matter said Friday.

The building located in Samjiyon county in Ryanggang Province bordering China collapsed on Wednesday due to a torrential downpour, according to the source, who declined to be identified.

Seoul's intelligence agency confirmed that Ryanggang was hit by heavy rains in recent days.

"We are checking whether 34 North Koreans were killed," said an official.

The source said that the incident is a separate case from the collapse of a five-story apartment building in the border city of Hyesan on Monday.

Kim Seong-min, representative of Free North Korea Radio, said that heavy rainfall and landslides earlier this week hit residential areas and farmlands in North Hamgyong and Ryanggang provinces.

He said the building in Hyesan, Ryanggang Province, collapsed, leaving some 80 people trapped.

North Korea's state media has yet to report property damage or human loss caused by the latest downpours.

In August 2015, Typhoon Goni struck the northern part of the reclusive country, and flooded the border city of Rason where a special economic zone is located.

The flood is known to have left at least 40 North Korean dead and more than 1,420 families homeless.

In September last year, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited Rason in a bid to spur efforts to help in the recovery from the flood, according to the North's media.


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