Thousands evacuated in N Korea as heavy rain destroys houses

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea’s state TV has reported heavy rains in the northeast have destroyed or flooded 1,170 houses and forced 5,000 residents to evacuate to safety. Thursday’s TV broadcast said this week’s downpour in South Hamgyong Province inundated or washed away hundreds of acres of farmlands and destroyed many bridges. Footage showed houses submerged up to their red-brick roofs, a severed bridge and a swollen river. Summer rains in North Korea often cause serious damage in the impoverished country, and come amid growing concerns about North Korea’s food security. Leader Kim Jong Un said in June that the food situation was becoming tense and mentioned the worse-ever crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S.-led sanctions and last year’s massive typhoon and flooding.

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