North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered 12,000 members of his party in Pyongyang to help two rural provinces recover from the damage caused by a violent typhoon, the official KCNA agency said on Sunday.
The Korean peninsula is preparing for the arrival of a new hurricane, while the country’s east coast has experienced significant flooding and damage due to the torrential rains that accompanied the violent typhoon Maysak earlier in the week, in addition to other storms.
Natural disasters tend to do more damage in North Korea than in South Korea, mainly because of the fragility of North Korean infrastructure. The country is also very vulnerable to flooding due to deforestation.
More than 1,000 houses were destroyed by typhoon Maysak and several public buildings and farms were flooded in northern and southern Hamgyong provinces, according to KCNA.
On Saturday, the leader visited the area to check the damage and organized a meeting on rescue operations, the same source said.
In addition, he sacked the chairman of the Southern Hamgyong provincial party committee, according to KCNA.
In photos published this Sunday by the ruling party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, the North Korean leader appears discussing the situation with other officials, in front of destroyed houses and felled trees.
In a handwritten open letter to members of the Labor Party, the leader announced that about 12,000 members, residing in Pyongyang, will be sent to these two provinces.
Your mission will be to participate in operations to help the region recover from the damage. He set a deadline of 10 October, the 75th anniversary of the founding of the ruling party.
“We cannot allow the inhabitants of the southern and northern Hamgyong provinces, who have just suffered so much damage, to celebrate this anniversary without a roof,” wrote Kim Jong Un.
Kim described the situation as “urgent” and that needed to be “managed without waiting a single moment”.
The newspaper did not specify the number of injured, deceased or missing.
In 2016, at least 138 North Koreans died during floods caused by torrential rains, according to the United Nations.
sh / axn / juf / jvb / gm / mr