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North Korea airs footage of floods that killed at least 40

North Korea showed images of people struggling to navigate their way through large bodies of muddy water, an unusual move that could indicate Pyongyang is seeking flood relief.

By Elizabeth Shim
North Korea airs footage of floods that killed at least 40
In an unprecedented televised announcement, North Korea said 250 millimeters (about 10 inches) of rain on Saturday and Sunday resulted in massive flooding, bringing devastation to urban and rural areas. Photo by KCNA/Yonhap

SEOUL, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Floods wiped out hundreds of homes in North Korea and at least 40 people died last Saturday and Sunday.

The International Federation of the Red Cross said torrential rains overwhelmed North Korea's northeast, where floods killed at least 40 people and displaced at least 11,000 more, South Korean television network SBS reported.

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In an unprecedented televised announcement, North Korea said 250 millimeters (nearly 10 inches) of rain that resulted in massive flooding brought devastation to urban and rural areas. In Rason, North Korea's special economic zone, 5,240 households, 99 public buildings and 51 sections of a railway were destroyed, according to Pyongyang.

South Korean television network KBS reported North Korea aired footage of people struggling to navigate their way through large bodies of muddy water that had covered the roads of Rason, a city in North Korea. North Korea included images of a collapsed apartment building and flooded rice fields, an unusual move that could indicate Pyongyang is actively seeking international flood relief.

The IFRC said the North Korean Red Cross has dispatched 80 aid workers to help refugees find shelter and were providing flood victims with relief supplies, including medicine.

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Yonhap reported South Korea's weather agency is trying to confirm the extent of flood damage in the North, and a Unification Ministry official said Seoul is not planning to extend aid until an official request is sent from Pyongyang.

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