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North Korea floods leave 70,000 people homeless in winter - Red Cross

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The worst flooding in North Korea for 70 years has left 70,000 people homeless and in urgent need of aid as winter sets in, the Red Cross has warned, reported Sky News.

The floods hit a remote area of the isolated communist country's northeastern borders with China and Russia in late August.

But, more than three months on, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned that plenty of aid was still needed.

"There is still much to do. Many people lost everything," IFRC president Tadateru Konoe said after a 10-day visit to North Korea.

"They need basic relief supplies to get through the winter months and more investment is needed to restore health services, water supply and sanitation systems together with mass awareness campaigns to guard against the spread of communicable diseases."

According to figures based on government data, the UN said in September that 133 people had been killed in the floods.

A further 395 were missing.

The Red Cross said 600,000 people have been affected by the natural disaster.

Mountainous North Korea lacks proper infrastructure, while much of its terrain has been deforested to provide farmland, meaning a natural flood barrier has been lost.

It also suffers from severe winters, with the latest pictures showing snow on the ground.

The IFRC made a $15.5m (£12m) emergency appeal to help North Korea's Red Cross Society in September.

But it said only 25% of the target had been reached.


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