Beijing/Kuala Lumpur, 23 August 2018 – Flash floods and landslides pose risks to vulnerable communities in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as typhoon Soulik brings torrential rain.

Mohamed Babiker, Head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) country office in DPRK, said: “Although it’s too early to say what impact Soulik will have, historically typhoons tend to result in flooding and landslides. Together with strong winds caused by the typhoon, there is a risk of serious injury and loss of life, and homes and infrastructure could be damaged.

“The approach of Typhoon Soulik is the latest threat to vulnerable people in DPRK, which is currently suffering from a heatwave that may damage food production across the country. Soulik may cause further short- and long-term damage to livelihoods and destroy vital crops before they can be harvested.”

DPRK Red Cross activated its early warning and preparedness systems as soon as Typhoon Soulik’s path was predicted and has issued storm warning alerts to people in the potentially affected areas in North and South Hwanghae, Kangwon and North and South Hamgyong provinces. Altogether, 42,000 Red Cross volunteers and national and provincial disaster response teams are on standby to help with search and rescue, evacuation, first aid, distribution of emergency items and activities to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases.

To support this preparedness work, IFRC has released 50,960 Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to support DPRK Red Cross with emergency supplies such as family kits with tarpaulins, cooking sets, quilts, hygiene kits, water containers, water purification tablets and shelter tools. These items are in strategically-placed warehouses throughout the country.

IFRC is monitoring the current situation together with DPRK Red Cross and is coordinating with other international organizations, including the UN.

The Republic of Korea National Red Cross is also preparing for the arrival of the storm by activating its disaster response system, placing local branches on standby, and pre-positioning emergency relief items for immediate dispatch if necessary.

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Media contacts

In Beijing: Maude Froberg, +86 139 1009 6892, maude.froberg@ifrc.org

In Kuala Lumpur: Rosemarie North, +60 122 308 451, rosemarie.north@ifrc.org @RosemarieNorth

In Geneva: Alison Freebairn, +41 79 251 9333, alison.freebairn@ifrc.org