Flooding is expected in North Korea, including in the capital Pyongyang, according to state media on Wednesday. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The International Red Cross is working with North Korean authorities on disaster response as heavy rains continue to pose flooding risks in the country.
Red Cross spokesman Antony Balmain said this week the North Korean Red Cross has activated an emergency response team to "work alongside authorities and local communities in nine provinces," Radio Free Asia reported.
The statement from Balmain comes as North Korean state media warned the Taedong River in the capital of Pyongyang is expected to exceed warning levels.
Balmain also said the response teams are preparing essential goods, including water containers, purification tablets, blankets and sanitary products, for communities that could be affected in the event of disaster.
On Wednesday, Korean Workers' Party paper Rodong Sinmun said the rains are expected to grow heavier due to the impact of Typhoon No. 4.
Storm warnings have been issued for different areas situated near major waterways, and about 6 to 12 inches of rain is expected in the Taedong River basin. Warning levels for the Taedong River are to be surpassed around Thursday evening, the North Korean newspaper said.
The overflow of the Taedong River could damage farms and homes in Pyongyang. The flooding of the river in 2007 paralyzed transportation networks and communication lines, according to South Korean news service Newsis.
As part of an emergency response, the Red Cross and North Korea are placing priority on providing evacuation routes and shelters for people who may be displaced during floods.
In 2018, floods in North Korea destroyed hundreds of buildings and more than 10,000 people lost their homes.
South Korea's unification ministry called for inter-Korea cooperation on Wednesday and for the exchange of information, but Pyongyang has yet to respond, according to reports.