N.Korea Tight-Lipped on Possible Flood Damage

North Korea saw torrential rains drench the country on Tuesday and Wednesday, just as they caused flooding and havoc in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and other central regions of the South. The downpours are forecast to pelt the two Koreas throughout Thursday.

The [South] Korea Meteorological Administration said Wednesday that the reclusive communist state had 115 mm of rain in Kaesong, home to one of the North's key industrial complexes, as well as 42 mm in Sariwon, North Hwanghae Province, and 29 mm in Haeju, South Hwanghae Province.  

It also predicted that between 30 ml and 60 ml of heavy rain would fall each hour in some areas of the North from Wednesday night to Thursday morning, accompanied by thunder, lightning and gusty winds.

But Pyongyang has not updated the weather conditions there or reported any resulting damage except for on Tuesday, when it reported heavy showers mainly in South Hwanghae Province. This region experienced sustained downpours of more than 30 ml per hour on average during the rainy season in the middle of the month.

The North's state media issued almost real-time updates of the havoc wreaked by the weather from July 12 to 17, but it has fallen silent on the issue since the Associated Press suggested Pyongyang may have altered a photo of a flooded road near the Taedong River to exaggerated flood damage. The photo in question was supplied to the AP by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

Meanwhile, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has started to distribute aid for rain damage to North Korea's Hwanghae Province, the Voice of America said on Wednesday.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 28, 2011 10:16 KST