Typhoon Bolaven kills 3 in North Korea, leaves thousands homeless

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA (BNO NEWS) -- Typhoon Bolaven, one of the most powerful storms to strike the Korean Peninsula in recent years, has killed at least three people in North Korea, state-run media reported on Friday. The storm has also left more than 3,000 people homeless.

Bolaven made landfall in North Korea on late Tuesday with torrential rains and maximum sustained winds of 90 kilometers (55.9 miles) per hour and gusts up to 129.6 kilometers (80 miles) per hour, according to Choe Tong Hwan, the director of the North Korean Hydro-meteorological Management Office in North Hwanghae province.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said at least three people were killed and around 110 public and factory buildings were destroyed. The typhoon, which weakened quickly after making landfall, also destroyed more than 490 houses in Paekam County of Ryanggang province and 100 in Sinpho City of South Hamgyong province. More than 3,300 people were left homeless by the destruction, KCNA reported.

Footage released by the official news agency showed scores of uprooted trees, partially damaged buildings, and roads washed away by floods. KCNA said more than 25 square kilometers (9.6 square miles) of road was destroyed in 90 places and floods have washed away more than 32,000 hectares (79,000 acre) of farmland.

North Korea has been hit hard by floods this year, killing hundreds of people and leaving nearly a quarter of a million people homeless. Tropical storm Khanun hit in July and was followed by torrential rains just days later, killing at least 169 people and leaving more than 400 others missing.

The North estimated some 8,600 houses were destroyed by the severe weather in July while nearly 44,000 houses were flooded, leaving more than 212,200 people homeless and forcing the government to request international assistance. Torrential rains hit the impoverished nation again between August 17 and August 20, killing six people and destroying hundreds of buildings.

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