Red Cross: Floods affect 600,000 in North Korea

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
1 PHOTOS
Flooding affecting hundreds of thousands in North Korea
See Gallery
Flooding affecting hundreds of thousands in North Korea
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

SEOUL, Oct 3 (Reuters) - At least 600,000 people in North Korea have been affected by heavy flooding that damaged or destroyed 30,000 homes, the Red Cross said, calling for urgent humanitarian aid ahead of the winter.

"The disaster hit, in many ways, at probably the worst time," said Chris Staines, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) delegation in North Korea.

The IFRC has been working with North Korea's Red Cross Society to deliver aid to northeastern communities that suffered the worst of the flooding caused by heavy rains in late August.

Staines said "urgent action" was needed before the first snowfall expected in late October when temperatures fall below freezing, and can reach minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 Fahrenheit) in mid-winter.

"This is seriously harsh conditions and that's why we need much more permanent solutions in terms of shelter, in terms of the health services and the access to food, and sorting out issues around safe water," he said.

The IFRC has launched a 15.2 million Swiss Francs ($15.6 million) emergency appeal to reach more than 300,000 people with humanitarian assistance over the next 12 months.

The IFRC released video footage it said was taken last week in North Hamgyong province that showed damaged buildings and displaced people living in rows of temporary shelters.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Sept. 12 that, according to figures based on government data, 133 people had been killed and 395 were missing.

News of the disaster has come as North Korea appears even more isolated from its neighbors and the wider world after its fifth nuclear test last month.

Widespread deforestation for fuel and farming has made the impoverished country prone to natural disasters, especially floods.

More on AOL.com:
Trump group did business with Iranian bank later linked to terror
Reporter who quit on air faces 54 years in prison
Dozens killed in stampede in Ethiopia after police fire warning shots at protest

Read Full Story

From Our Partners

This Elephant Was Separated From Her Mother As A Baby - But She's About To Get A Huge This Elephant Was Separated From Her Mother As A Baby - But She's About To Get A Huge
19 of the Creepiest, Most Inexplicable Things People Ever Experienced 19 of the Creepiest, Most Inexplicable Things People Ever Experienced
Man Built This Contraption In His Backyard - And Even He Was Surprised How Well It Worked Man Built This Contraption In His Backyard - And Even He Was Surprised How Well It Worked