Muifa Causes 10 Casualties, Crop Damage in North Korea

Posted August 9th, 2011 at 7:35 am (UTC-5)
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North Korea says it suffered at least 10 people dead or injured and thousands of hectares of cropland damaged as Tropical Storm Muifa swept across its territory Tuesday.

The storm surged through the Yellow Sea, battering both China and South Korea, before coming ashore in North Korea late Monday. It continued to dump heavy rain on China's extreme northeastern provinces as a tropical depression late on Tuesday.

North Korea's official news agency said Muifa destroyed more than 100 housing units and 10 public buildings in one province, while badly affecting 24,000 hectares of cropland. It said there were more than 10 casualties but did not say how many of those were dead or injured.

The report comes on the same day a U.N. agency reported 60,000 hectares of North Korean croplands were badly damaged by floods in July. The United Nations says the country was already facing severe food shortages affecting more than 6 million people.

Earlier Tuesday, Chinese authorities said Muifa destroyed 600 homes and caused $480 million in damage as it swept up the nation's eastern coast. About 1.35 million people were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

South Korean officials said the storm killed at least five people in that country and laid waste to fruit orchards.

High waves caused by the storm breached a dyke Monday morning in the Chinese city of Dalian, raising fears that a chemical plant would be inundated. However soldiers and workers succeeded in reinforcing the dyke.