(AFP) – Jul 28, 2012
SEOUL — North Korea warned that more rainstorms will hit the country's north and western coastal regions this week, after recent flooding killed 88 people and left tens of thousands homeless.
Heavy rains are expected in most parts of the country on Sunday and Monday, state-run KCNA said, particularly warning of downpours set to deluge the west coast and the northern province of Jagang.
"In the period there will be rainfalls of 100-150 millimetres (5.9 inches) or more than 200 millimetres in some areas," KCNA said, citing a forecast by the country's weather service.
The warning comes a day after the North said that deadly floods which started on July 18 had left 88 dead, injured 134, made almost 63,000 people homeless and destroyed swathes of farmland.
More than 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of crop fields were "washed away" or submerged, with roads and factories destroyed, KCNA said Saturday, in a blow for the state which has long been beset by persistent severe food shortages.
After decades of deforestation the impoverished North is particularly vulnerable to flooding.
Dozens were killed or injured by a storm and torrential rains in June and July last year, which left thousands homeless and large areas of farmland flooded.
With rugged terrain and outmoded agricultural practices, the communist state faces serious difficulties in feeding its 24 million people. Hundreds of thousands died during a famine in the mid to late 1990s.
Following a visit to the country, UN agencies estimated last November that three million people would need food aid in 2012.
The United States reached a deal in February this year to offer the North much-needed food in return for a freeze on nuclear and missile tests.
But the plan was scrapped after Pyongyang's failed rocket launch in April, seen by the US and its allies as an attempted ballistic missile test banned under UN resolutions.
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