Typhoon Muifa kills at least 10 in North Korea

August 10th, 2011 - 9:40 pm ICT by BNO News  

PYONGYANG (BNO NEWS) — Typhoon Muifa has destroyed hundreds of homes and killed at least ten people in southern parts of North Korea in recent days, state-run media reported on Wednesday.

The Korean Peninsula has been hit by several storms in the last few months, claiming scores of lives in both North and South Korea. Muifa, which had maximum sustained winds of up to 260 kilometers (160 miles) per hour at its peak, had earlier killed four people in South Korea.

“According to results of an initial survey, the typhoon claimed more than ten casualties and destroyed many dwelling houses in North Hwanghae Province,” a brief report from the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Wednesday. It added that more than 240 dwelling houses had been destroyed throughout the country between Sunday and Tuesday.

In addition, the strong winds and heavy rainfalls seriously damaged some 25,800 hectares of standing crop in South and North Hwanghae provinces alone. Ten bridges were also destroyed and thousands of trees fell down, hampering rescue operations in the affected areas, KCNA said.

In late July, at least 30 people were said to have been killed as a result of flooding in various parts of North Korea, destroying thousands of buildings. It was the result of record rainfall which also killed at least 70 people in South Korea.

North Korea was also hit by heavy rains and resulting landslides between July 11 and July 15, reportedly destroying bridges, railways, and scores of homes and other buildings. Dozens of coal mines were also said to have been flooded, but KCNA made no mention of casualties.

KCNA also reported in early July that severe damage was caused when Severe Tropical Storm Meari made landfall in western areas of North Korea in late June. It said heavy rain and strong winds destroyed more than 160 blocks of homes, killing an unknown number of people.

But KCNA’s reporting last month was also criticized when it distributed a photo which appeared to have been digitally altered to make the disaster look worse than it may have been. North Korean state-run media normally keeps quiet or downplays problems in the country, and experts believe the North’s move might be in an effort to receive more international aid.

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