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N. Korea sends military to flood-damaged area for recovery work after heavy rain

All News 22:59 August 09, 2020

SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has sent military troops to a flood-affected area to help with the recovery efforts following days of heavy downpours, its state media reported Sunday.

In an article carried by Rodong Sinmun, the main organ of the North's ruling Workers' Party of Korea, military units were dispatched to a county in the southwestern North Hwanghae Province to carry out recovery work.

"Military units that will be mobilized for reconstruction are arriving in damaged areas one after the other," the newspaper said. "Upon arrival, as soon as they took off their backpacks, the soldiers went to restore roads, banks and ground."

Leader Kim Jong-un recently visited the county to assess the flood damage and ordered officials to send his special stock of grain to the victims, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)'s Friday report.

Hwanghae and the southeastern province of Kangwon were the areas in North Korea most affected by heavy rains this week, reporting hundreds of damaged homes and flooded rice fields, KCNA reported earlier.

Some areas in Kangwon received more than 800 millimeters of rain, according to the weather agency. The average yearly precipitation in North Korea comes to around 960 mm.

In this photo captured from the Korean Central Television Broadcasting Station on Aug. 7, 2020, many houses are damaged and flooded at a flood-ravaged village in Unpha, North Hwanghae Province, which North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited. The broadcaster stopped short of saying when he made the visit, but Kim is believed to have visited the village the previous day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

The North reportedly suffered considerable damage after Typhoon Lingling struck the country last September.

Its state broadcaster Korean Central Television quoted an official from a district water and sewage management agency south of Pyongyang, near the Daedong River, as noting the risks of being submerged and that the agency needs to discharge pumps to ensure people's safety.

North Korea is vulnerable to natural disasters due to its lack of infrastructure, analysts say.

Forecast for more rainfalls has put South Korean authorities on alert, as the rain could cause a sudden increase in water levels in the inter-Korean border regions. Earlier this week, North Korea partially opened the floodgates of a dam on the western border and released water into the Imjin river without prior notice, sending the level of the river to an all-time high.

elly@yna.co.kr
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