New floods in North Korea kill six, destroy hundreds of buildings

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA (BNO NEWS) -- Torrential rains in the southern region of North Korea have killed at least six people and destroyed hundreds of houses and other buildings, state-run media reported on Wednesday, just a month after floods killed more than 169 people.

Approximately 499 millimeters (19.6 inches) of rain was recorded in Phyongsan County of North Hwanghae between late Friday and early Monday, making it the worst-hit area. Extreme rainfall with similar amounts was also recorded in Kangwon province and South Hwanghae Province, and heavy rainfall also affected the capital Pyongyang.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said at least six people were killed and more than 530 houses and other buildings have been destroyed. The death toll is expected to rise as an unspecified number of casualties have been reported in South Hwanghae Province, but is uncertain if the reclusive state will release further updates.

KCNA said three people were killed in North Hwanghae Province, where floods destroyed more than 170 houses, 30 public buildings and six bridges. The flooding in the province also inundated 2,740 hectares (6,770 acre) of cropland, caused 38 mudslides and destroyed more than 1,160 meters (3,805 feet) of railroad.

Three people were killed in neighboring South Phyongan Province, where floods destroyed more than 300 houses and some 30 other buildings, including public buildings and factory buildings. KCNA also reported at least six bridges were damaged and mudslides covered some 140 sections of roads in the province.

Additionally, a railway bridge was destroyed and there have been a number of casualties in South Hwanghae Province, though KCNA has given no specific number. An unknown number of houses and public buildings were also flooded in Kangwon Province, but state-run media reported no casualties there.

Earlier this week, state-run media said a number of houses and public buildings were destroyed in Pyongyang, but no other details were given. No images or video has so far been released from the disaster-hit area, although two images released by KCNA showed a street in Pyongyang which was flooded.

Last month, at least 169 people were killed and around 400 others went missing when severe weather hit North Korea on two occasions. At least 88 people were killed by tropical storm Khanun and torrential rains hit the impoverished nation again just days later, killing dozens more. The North estimated some 8,600 houses were destroyed while nearly 44,000 houses were flooded, leaving more than 212,200 people homeless and forcing the government to request international assistance.

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