At the bottom of your newspaper, you might have read a couple hundred people in North Korea died in floods.

But now there are stories coming out of the “Hermit Kingdom” suggesting the damage was worse than first admitted, and may have devestated much of the country’s infrastructure. One report says it was “ten times worse” than the last flood in 1996.

AlJazeerah quotes KCNA as saying a quarter million families were displaced and 100 thousand homeless.  Thousands of public buildings were damaged or destroyed. What is worse is that in a year when North Korea was expecting to need more food, the floods have destroyed 200thousand Hectares of cropland just before the harvest:

One Korean news source estimates that 20 percent of it’s rice fields and 15 percent of it’s corn crop was damaged or destroyed by flooding.
Alzazeerah reports that South Korea is rushing in needed aid, 7.5 million dollars in emergency aid and another 40 million dollars for construction equipment and supplies to rebuild the destroyed homes, plus another ten million to pay for transport of the materials.
The seriousness of the flood can be gauged by a small article mentioning that North Korea has postponed their Arirang Festival, a mass propaganda festival with 100 000 participants.

Last year the festival was rescheduled after mild flooding, but this year no rescheduling date has been announced.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket 

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