New York: The United Nations has said that some 50,000 families in North Korea will need immediate support for clean water due to flooding caused by recent heavy rain, warning about a high risk of a diarrhoea outbreak from contaminated wells.
In its situation report on North Korea’s flooding, the world body said torrential rain country-wide between July 18-29 caused flooding, leaving 88 people dead and making 62,889 people homeless, the figures unveiled by Pyongyang at the end of July.
UN agencies and non-governmental organizations have coordinated their support activities to cope with the situation in the country, whose government has requested for the release of emergency stocks including food and fuel, the United Nations said, adding that no request for funding has yet been made.
According to the report, damaged water source and pumping stations leave 36,000 families in Anju City, South Pyongan Province, without water.
“The wells being used are contaminated due to overflow of pit latrines and open drainage. As such there is a high risk of diarrhea outbreak,” the report said.
In Songchon County in the province, the occurrence of diarrhea has already increased by 30 percent while seven out of 49 health facilities washed away, with 12 submerged, it said. As there is a lack of drugs and vaccines, local authorities request essential medicines and consumables, it added.
In Chonnae County, Kangwon Province, a four-fold increase in diarrhea cases and a doubling of outpatient load are reported, it said.