North Korea devastated by flood on border with China

More than 30cm of rain has fallen since yesterday, leading to evacuation of tens of thousands of people form affected areas.

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SEOUL // North Korea has been hit by a "devastating flood" along its border with China, Pyongyang's state media said today, as heavy rain swelled the Yalu river. Nearby Sinuiju City and its vicinity have been "severely affected by (the) flood", the official Korean Central News Agency said. The agency said floodwaters had inundated all housing, public buildings and farmland in three sectors of Sinuiju as well as in several rural communities surrounding the city, without giving a figure for the number affected.

More than 30cm of rain have fallen around Lake Suphung since yesterday, according to the report. "Officials and people of North Phyongan province, including those of the city, and servicepersons have turned out in rescue work," KCNA said. Across the border in northeast China, three people are missing and more than 50,000 others have been evacuated along the Yalu, which forms the border with North Korea, officials and state media said.

About 230 homes collapsed in the city of Dandong and some transport, power and communication links were cut off but no fatalities were reported, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing local government. In North Korea, widespread flooding this summer has washed away homes, roads, railways and farmland, causing an unspecified number of fatalities, according to state media reports from Pyongyang. In 2007, the impoverished nation reported at least 600 people dead or missing from floods.