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North Korea braces for heavy rains, possible flooding

North Korea is expected to be hit with rain and possible flooding this week, state media says. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
North Korea is expected to be hit with rain and possible flooding this week, state media says. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 3 (UPI) -- North Korea is expected to receive about 20 inches of rain beginning Monday, the regime's weather agency says.

KCNA reported Monday heavy downpours are expected to affect most parts of the country, including North and South Pyongan Provinces, North and South Hwanghae Provinces, the city of Kaesong, Jagang Province and the interior regions of Kangwon Province.

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Regions that are likely to be less affected by rains that are expected to continue through Thursday include Yanggang Province, North Hamgyong Province and the city of Rason, at the border with Russia, state media says.

North Korean state television said "thorough measures" ought to be taken to prevent flooding, landslides and other weather-related disasters that could affect "the people's economy."

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Ri Yong Nam, deputy director of Pyongyang's meteorological bureau, said Monday on KCTV the seasonal monsoon front in North Korea's central region will come in association with a low-pressure area. The length of the rainy season will grow in size, Ri said.

"Countermeasures against weather damage must be stepped up," Ri said.

North Korea may have been taking measures ahead of time, and without notifying the South, Yonhap reported Monday.

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North Korean authorities may have released water from its Hwanggang Dam, upstream of the Imjin River, without alerting the South, military and intelligences sources in the South say, according to the report.

The North has previously opened the dam, raising the water level of the Imjin, which poses dangers to South Korean residents living by the river.

In September 2009, North Korea released water from the Hwanggang Dam without notice, sending water downstream and killing six South Koreans in Yeoncheon County, Gyeonggi Province.

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North Korea did notify the South in 2010. Floods heavily hit the country in 2016 following Typhoon Lionrock and again in August 2018, when hundreds of buildings were destroyed and more than 10,000 people may have lost their homes, according to the Red Cross.

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