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U.N.: North Korea floods kill 21, nine still missing

The recent floods destroyed 690 houses and brought down public infrastructure, including roads, bridges and dams.

By Elizabeth Shim
U.N.: North Korea floods kill 21, nine still missing
North Koreans get in a boat next to a destroyed bridge connecting China and North Korea, in Dandong, China's largest border city with North Korea on May 30. North Korea was hit by heavy flooding in three provinces between Aug. 1 and 5, according to the U.N. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

SEOUL, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- North Korea is recovering from torrential rains that caused 21 deaths between Aug. 1 and 5, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The OCHA report published Monday said rains and subsequent flooding in South Hwanghae, South Hamgyong and North Hamgyong provinces affected 3,400 people.

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The U.N. said 21 have died and nine are still missing. The floods destroyed 690 houses and brought down public infrastructure, including roads, bridges and dams.

Crops also were seriously damaged – 4,000 hectares in total, according to the report.

The U.N. agency said the North Korean Red Cross is closely cooperating with local authorities to assess the scope of the damage. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is working with Pyongyang's Red Cross to distribute relief aid to seven communities across the three provinces.

The sudden rains in North Korea come after North Korea sought outside assistance to battle what it has said is the "worst drought in 100 years," South Korea press reported.

North Korea has been affected by a severe drought for the last 18 months, and crop production has been forecast to be 40 to 50 percent less in Hwanghae province, one of the three areas hit by the torrential rains in early August.

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In 2013, North Korea was hit with a flood crisis that killed at least 13 people and damaged thousands of homes.

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