Sinuiju flooded

North Korea has been hit with some serious flooding this year.  First came this report from August 5. Now KCTV and Xinhua are broadcasting footage of the flooded Yalu/Amnok River.

According to KCNA:

Planes of the air force and warships of the navy of the Korean People’s Army rushed to the area of Sinuiju, North Phyongan Province, hit by sudden torrential rain and successfully conducted an emergency operation on August 21 to rescue the inhabitants who were at the crossroads of life and death.

Unprecedented downpour hit the northeastern area of China on August 19 and 20, causing flooding in rivers. This also adversely affected the northwestern area of Korea.

5,300 cubic meters of water rushed into the River Amnok per second from a river of China, causing the water level of the river to rise suddenly from 0:00 on August 21. As a result, the river swelled in a minute, leaving even Sinuiju City inundated. This paralyzed traffic and did damage to many objects.

Hardest hit by flooding were Sangdan-ri, Hadan-ri, Taji-ri, Soho-ri in Uiju County, Ojok Islet and Maksa Islet in Sinuiju City. They were completely submerged and single-story houses went under water.

The flood victims were at a loss on the roof tops of buildings and hills.

The institutions concerned took emergency measures to rescue the victims but the damage was so serious that they proved unsuccessful. Upon hearing this, General Secretary Kim Jong Il ordered KPA units to immediately launch rescue operations.

Air force units sent dozens of planes and navy units warships and various types of means and succeeded in evacuating at least 5,150 flood victims to safe areas in close touch with officials of party and power organs and people’s security organs in the flood-hit areas.

The inhabitants in the flood-ravaged areas and servicepersons who were mobilized for the rescue operations noted in excited tone that the socialist system in the DPRK is the most advantageous and benevolent one as the life and properties of people are protected by servicepersons and Kim Jong Il is the greatest father as he provided this land of bliss for the people.

And according to the Daily NK:

Faced with rising waters in the Yalu River, the North Korean authorities issued an evacuation warning at around 8 P.M. on the 20th, but most residents did not place much faith in it and stayed at home, so the number of flood victims increased when the river burst its banks at dawn on the 21st, according to a Daily NK source.

The source explained on the 22nd, “At 3 A.M. yesterday, downtown Shinuiju started flooding and houses got submerged. The day before yesterday at around 8 P.M. the authorities released a broadcast telling people to evacuate to South Shinuiju, but the majority of residents ignored it.”

He went on, “In Majeon-dong, since the sound of water was so loud at dawn, only then did people evacuate their places to an elementary school in the neighborhood which was on higher ground. Some of them could not leave, so presumably there were victims.”

He added, “I heard there might be deaths, although there has been no official report yet.”

If people also ignored the evacuation warning in other regions, there is a high possibility that damage in Sangdan-ri, Hadan-ri and Daji-ri in Shinuiju, places in which Chosun Central TV reported 100 percent of houses and farms had been flooded, might have been much more significant than in Majeon-dong.

The source explained the reason why people did not listen to the warning, “Since the middle of this month there have been a few warnings, but nothing serious happened. Therefore, people did that.”

“Cadres living in apartments were busy carrying their stuff to upper floors, but those who don’t have any property have nothing to damage, so it can’t have been that. There might have been some who stayed at home in order to keep a few domestic animals or a small amount of land,” he added.

Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Saturday, “From 12 A.M. to 9 A.M. on the 21st, due to more than 300 mm of heavy rain falling around the Supung Dam, 100 percent of houses, official buildings and farms on the Yalu River were flooded and Sangdan-, Hadan-, Daji-ri in Shinuiju and Seoho- and Eojeok-ri in Uiju were also flooded.”

Meanwhile, another source has reported to The Daily NK that while airplanes and helicopters were rescuing trapped people, one helicopter crashed, killing the crew.

The source explained, “The helicopter was approaching Sangdan-ri alongside the Yalu River in order to rescue isolated residents, but it crashed into a rice paddy. The two pilots died.”

Although Chosun Central TV reported the fact that helicopters had been sent to the rescue project on the orders of Kim Jong Il, there was no word of the crash.

According to the source, people rescued by other helicopters were sent to Dongrim, North Pyongan Province.

The KCNA reported that some 5,000 residents were evacuated to high ground.

The clean-up has been underway since the 22nd, and will continue for three days. Shinuiju residents are taking part.


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