Friday, July 21, 2006

North Korean flooding could affect country’s food supply

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said heavy rains in North Korea these past weeks have caused flash floods that totally or partially destroyed 11,524 houses, leaving more than 9,000 families homeless.

The federation said the heavy weather could also affect North Korea's food supply — critical to the country that suffered famine in the 1990s believed to have killed 2 million people.

"Extensive areas of arable fields have been inundated, wiping out much of the anticipated harvest," the federation said.

North Koreans' efforts to grow food on any possible arable land has led to deforestation in the mountainous areas of the country's South Pyongan, North Hwanghe and Kangwon provinces, leading to landslides, Timmer said.

"Erosion is most likely the main cause of this large disaster," he said.


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