North Koreans in desperate need of food after floods
August 6, 2012 -- Updated 2251 GMT (0651 HKT)
- North Korea is in need of immediate food assistance, the U.N. says
- The World Food Programme announces it is sending emergency food aid
- State media: More than 212 000 people are homeless
- Eighty-eight people have died, U.N. says, but national media put the toll at 169
(CNN) -- The World Food Programme is stepping in to feed people in North Korea, where floods have ruined crops and left hundreds of thousands homeless, according to reports.
The United Nations declared the situation in North Korea an emergency Thursday after torrential rain soaked the country between July 18 and 29. Eighty-eight people have died, a U.N. report said, though national media put the toll at 169.
Counties most affected by the floods are in need of immediate food assistance, the report said.
Read more on the North Korea floods
Heavy rain hit the capital Pyongyang, as well as North and South Phyongan provinces last week. The country faced similar extreme weather in 2010 (as pictured here in the Pyongyang province.)
Crops destroyed in North Korea flood
The downpours swept away crops and destroyed buildings, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said.
The floods also damaged wells and pumping stations, leaving about 50,000 families without clean drinking water, the U.N. report said.
As Saturday, 144 had been injured, KCNA said. It reported that 212 200 people are homeless.
Read more about Asia's recent extreme wet weather
"Most areas of the DPRK are expected to suffer big damage from continuous downpour accompanied by thunder and storm," KCNA reported Monday, using the abbreviation of the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The destruction of farmland is of particular concern in a country that struggles to feed itself.
The World Food Programme said Friday that it is sending a first round of emergency food aid that will provide rations of 400 grams (14 ounces) of maize per day for 14 days.
The United Nations reported more than 30,600 hectares (75,600 acres) of arable land was affected.
Employees from humanitarian groups that operate inside North Korea describe severe malnourishment on a large scale. A deal earlier this year for the United States to ship food aid to the country fell apart after the regime went ahead with a controversial rocket launch.
The highest numbers of deaths so far from the flooding were reported in areas of South Phyongan province, northeast of the capital, Pyongyang.
The heavy rain Sunday hit Pyongyang as well as North and South Phyongan provinces. The capital is the richest and most developed part of the country, and is used as a showcase by the secretive, nuclear-armed regime. The provinces tend to be poorer and have weaker infrastructure.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 0025 GMT (0825 HKT)
North Korea has released photos that claim to show leader Kim Jong Un, whose absence for over a month has raised speculation.
October 11, 2014 -- Updated 0543 GMT (1343 HKT)
Despite tense relations, China benefits from Kim Jong Un's rule in North Korea. David McKenzie explains.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 0851 GMT (1651 HKT)
North Korea has "the world's most advantageous human rights system," the country declares.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 0135 GMT (0935 HKT)
Three Americans detained in North Korea spoke out about their conditions Monday in an exclusive interview with CNN.
May 28, 2013 -- Updated 1041 GMT (1841 HKT)
Beijing-based tour company posts exclusive photos and video from inspection visit.
August 31, 2014 -- Updated 0137 GMT (0937 HKT)
CNN's Will Ripley makes a rare live report from reclusive North Korea.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 0852 GMT (1652 HKT)
The crowd cheers as the stars make their way to the ring for first pro-wrestling bout North Korea has seen in almost 20 years.
March 27, 2013 -- Updated 1336 GMT (2136 HKT)
A German photographer returns from the closed country with unlikely pictures of everyday residents.
December 2, 2013 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
Visiting the DPRK is easy these days, so long as you don't forget to play by their rules.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1445 GMT (2245 HKT)
CNN's Will Ripley is given a rare look inside North Korea and tours Kim Jong Un's pet project, a waterpark.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 1221 GMT (2021 HKT)
North Korea rejected an invitation to the Pope's Mass in Seoul. CNN's Paula Hancocks reports.
July 2, 2014 -- Updated 2225 GMT (0625 HKT)
As diplomats discuss a string of unsolved kidnappings of Japanese citizens by North Korea, the families of those abducted anxiously wait.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 2344 GMT (0744 HKT)
New signs show Russia and North Korea are developing a closer relationship.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
Photographer Eric Lafforgue visited North Korea and shares his inside look at the most isolated country in the world.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 0125 GMT (0925 HKT)
Many North Koreans listen to illegal broadcasts on homemade radios, some are convinced to defect.
May 8, 2014 -- Updated 1926 GMT (0326 HKT)
Jang Jin-Sung, a North Korean defector and former regime insider, speaks with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.