(Updated) North Korea’s 2022 flooding season
North Korea’s flooding season has begun. AP:
North Korea’s weather authorities predicted this year’s rainy season would start in late June and issued alerts for torrential downpours in most of its regions from Monday through Wednesday.
The official Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday that authorities in the North’s central and southwestern regions “have concentrated all forces and means on the work to cope with possible flood and typhoon damage.”
Officials and workers were working to protect crops, equipment at metal and chemical industrial establishments, power plant facilities and fishing boats from heavy rains, KCNA reported. It said the country’s anti-disaster agency was reviewing the readiness of emergency workers and medical staff.
KCNA said North Korean officials are urging residents and laborers to abide by pandemic-related restrictions during the country’s monsoon season. It said medical workers were ready to deal with any potential major health issues and officials were working to ensure epidemic control measures at shelters for people evacuated from flood-damaged areas.
As flooding spreads, the work to contain the damage ramps up. As state media reported on June 30th:
Officials and working people across the country are striving to minimize the damage by disastrous abnormal weather to the crops.
As soon as a warning on downpour was issued, the North Hwanghae Provincial Party Committee sent its officials to reservoirs, emptying gates and drainage pumping stations and ensured that officials in cities and counties went to the medium and small rivers and co-op farms in their areas to take measures for flood damage prevention. The province also pays attention to the threshing and keeping of wheat and barley.
South Hwanghae Province takes the best possible steps to send powerful forces and means to stricken areas in an emergency. Hundreds of excavators, lorries, tractors, etc. are ready to go to the afflicted areas.
(Source: “Proactive Efforts Made in DPRK to Minimize Damage by Flood to Crops,” Korean Central News Agency, June 30th, 2022.)
How well prepared can we presume North Korea to be to meet this year’s floods? Over the past few years, the regime has directed increasing attention and effort to disaster risk mitigation. It is obviously not a coincidence that Premier Kim Tok Hun inspected the State Hydro-meteorological Administration and the State Emergency Disaster Committee this week:
Learning in detail about the weather observation of the State Hydro-meteorological Administration, he said that it is very important to ensure the exactness and promptness of weather forecast in guaranteeing the successful implementation of the state policy tasks for the latter half of the year, including the grain production plan for this year, set forth at the Fifth Plenary Meeting of the Eighth WPK Central Committee.
He stressed the need to minimize the damage from such disastrous weather phenomena as typhoon and downpour by enhancing the level of scientific forecast and analysis of the ever-changing weather conditions and their effect.
Visiting the State Emergency Disaster Committee, the premier called on all the sectors and units out in the campaign for preventing damage in rainy season to swiftly cope with any emergency and meticulously organize the work for protecting the state assets and ensuring the normal economic activity, regarding it as a core issue to protect the safety of the people.
He also called for establishing a proper work system and order to control in a stable way any crisis under the state’s unified direction and push ahead with the work for securing enough means and materials needed to tide over the crisis.
(Source: “Premier Inspects Hydro-meteorological Administration and Emergency Disaster Committee,” Korean Central News Agency, 29/6/22.)
I will continue to post updates on the events here as they are reported.
Update 10/7/22: The raining continues. From Reuters:
North Korean towns along the border with China were flooded this week after heavy rain, threatening to exacerbate an already critical food and economic situation in the country.
North Korea state broadcasters said the city of Sinuiju had reported its heaviest rainfall of the year on Thursday, with at least 132.5 mm (5.2 inches) of rain by 4 p.m.
To the east, in North Hamgyong Province, officials were working to ensure water supplies remained sanitary by supervising sewage disposal and ensuring that residents boiled water before drinking, state news agency KCNA reported.
North Korea has reported an epidemic of an unspecified intestinal disease – suspected by South Korean officials to be cholera or typhoid – and has blamed foreign objects from the border with South Korea for sparking a COVID-19 outbreak.
(Source: “North Korean streets flooded as heavy rains exacerbate economic crisis,” Reuters, July 8th, 2022.)
Meanwhile, more state publications that focus on disaster management and planning. Rodong Sinmun:
Scientists and officials of the State Hydro-meteorological Administration and the Academy of Agricultural Science in the DPRK have jointly conducted the crop growth forecast to cope with the unfavorable weather conditions.
A command group consisting of guidance and research forces from the two units publishes a bulletin on the crop growth forecast at 10-day intervals.
The State Hydro-meteorological Administration strengthens the grasp and analysis of the mean temperature, precipitation, sunshine rate and current agricultural climate conditions in liaison with the meteorological observatories across the country. And it provides the Academy of Agricultural Science with the basic information on the predicted agricultural weather conditions.
The Academy of Agricultural Science informs, through the forecast bulletin, of detailed agricultural technological measures according to cereal, vegetable, industrial crops, fruit and other sectors. It also presents to each issue of the bulletin excellent experiences on farming, agricultural sci-tech common knowledge, advanced farming technological data and answers to the questions conducive to the farming works in corresponding period.
(Source: “DPRK Pays Efforts to Crop Growth Forecast,” Rodong Sinmun, July 7th, 2022.)View Original Article