2010/08/28

Floods kill eight on China-N. Korea border

BEIJING, August 27, 2010 (AFP) - At least eight people were killed and one was left missing as heavy rains triggered fresh floods in northeast China on the border with North Korea, state media reported Friday.

Nearly 1,200 houses were toppled and 170,000 people evacuated after the border city of Dandong in Liaoning province received 78 millimetres (three inches) of rain between Thursday and Friday, Xinhua news agency said.

The latest deluge follows floods last week in which four people were killed in Dandong after the Yalu river flooded, Xinhua news agency said. The river forms the border with North Korea.

The fresh floods left at least eight dead, one missing and 136 injured, Xinhua said, quoting a report from the Dandong city government.

Shipping has been at a standstill on the Yalu river since August 19 as water levels remain dangerously high, Lu Xiusheng, deputy head of the flood control headquarters in Dandong, told Xinhua.

Water levels would remain high Friday due to a surging high tide from the Yellow Sea, he said.
The fresh floods are likely to frustrate efforts to clean mud and debris left in the city from last week's deluge.

Parts of North Korea near the border were submerged by the floods last week, the state Korean Central News Agency reported at the time, with thousands evacuated.

The impoverished state has been hit by widespread flooding this summer which has washed away homes, roads, railways and farmland, causing an unspecified number of deaths, according to North Korean state media reports.

After decades of deforestation, North Korea is particularly vulnerable to flooding. In 2007, it reported at least 600 people dead or missing from devastating floods.

China has for months been battling its worst flooding in a decade. So far, nearly 3,900 have been killed or left missing in flood-related incidents, according to official figures.