North Korea: 30 dead, thousands homeless in flood

August 5, 2011 - 9:59 AM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Heavy rains late last month in North Korea caused flooding that killed about 30 people and left almost 16,000 homeless, state media said Friday.

Thousands of homes were destroyed and farm land was heavily damaged, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a short dispatch from Pyongyang.

In a separate report, it said heavy rain was forecast in parts of North Korea between Monday and Tuesday from a typhoon heading for neighboring China.

Earlier reports from KCNA said "dozens of people" had died, were hurt or went missing due to a typhoon and heavy rains from late June to mid-July. Other reports described North Korea's own relief efforts and said North Korea thanked China for offering sympathy over the flooding.

Flooding and landslides also caused dozens of deaths in South Korea in late July.

Heavy rainfall can be catastrophic for impoverished North Korea, which is characterized by poor drainage and deforestation. Floods in 2007 left some 600 people dead or missing and about 100,000 others homeless.

Separately, state television Friday reported heavy damage to farm land in the city of Kaesong near the border with South Korea. Footage showed fields filled with muddy water and plants and trees toppled.

KCNA reported Thursday that landslides had forced the suspension of train service between two stations in South Hamgyong province.