August 04, 2010 11:24
Heavy rains since mid-July have inflicted heavy losses in North Korea, with 120 killed in Hungnam, South Hamgyong Province alone, Radio Free Asia reported Tuesday.
Quoting a source in Chongjin in the province, the radio station said over 2,000 people along the Songchon River were completely isolated when localized torrential rain that fell in Hungnam for three hours on July 22 flooded the dikes. Most of them were rescued by military helicopters and fishing boats, but 120, including 40 middle school students mobilized to help farmers, died.
A source in Sinuiju, North Pyongan Province said rumor has it that over 160 drowned in Hungnam. There are said to have been many casualties in Kaechon, South Pyongan Province as well.
Some 60 Workers' Party officials heading for Mt. Baekdu on an inspection tour were stranded on their train as part of the railroad was washed away in Unhung, Ryanggang Province, said a source in the province. All markets were closed due to destroyed roads and railroads, further aggravating the suffering of the locals.
North Korea's official media detailed some of the damage from the rainstorms. North Korea Central TV on July 28 showed damage inflicted in July in the unusual format of a reporter discussing it with an official from the Ministry of Land Environment Protection, but they said nothing about casualties.
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