N.Korea Reports Heavy Damage from Floods

North Korea's state-run news agency says heavy rains have caused great damage to the country's economy and unspecified human losses.

The agency said farming, railways and other sectors of the economy have been affected by the flooding.

Thursday's report said more than 5,500 houses and more than 350 public buildings have been destroyed, while almost 15,000 hectares of farmland is submerged.

The report did not say how many people have been killed or injured. But China's state-run Xinhua agency reported Wednesday that flooding in Jilin province, which borders North Korea, has killed more than 70 people and forced the evacuation of close to 800,000.

The North Korean agency said the government has put emergency relief procedures in place as weather officials predict more rain in the coming days.

North Korea suffers from chronic food shortages and the destruction of a significant portion of its farmland could make the problem worse.

A South Korean daily, the Korea Times, quoted an unidentified government official as saying that the impoverished North has not requested outside aid to cope with the floods.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

VOA News / Aug. 06, 2010 08:26 KST