Summary of major revisions made to the Emergency Plan of Action:
This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on 20 September 2016 for a period of twelve months, expected to be completed by 31 August 2017. As the flood occurred autumn had just begun and the harsh winter season was only a matter of weeks away. Accordingly the immediate needs identified and prioritized in the Emergency Appeal were for housing and winterization materials. DPRK RCS and IFRC were able to support the housing efforts, led by the Government of DPRK (GoDPRK) with a contribution of CHF 1Million to the supply of corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) roof sheeting, at the specific request of the GoDPRK. However, limited funding of the Emergency Appeal did not allow for the procurement of winter clothes as originally planned. As the rehabilitation programme was delivered and the displaced people moved into their new houses, GoDPRK provided winter clothes for all people as well as basic household items and an initial stock of coal and wood for heating.
As the recovery and reconstruction activities have continued, close consultation with the affected people and the relevant authorities has prioritized the need for more community-based activities like rehabilitation of water systems; health and hygiene promotion; community-based early warning and evacuation systems and First Aid training. These priorities are reflected in the revised Emergency Appeal Plan of Action.
The requirement for additional international staff as surge support has also been established and the revised appeal reflects this, providing for one operations manager for three months and one WASH delegate for 12 months.
A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
From 29 August to 31 August, heavy rainfall occurred in North Hamgyong Province, DPRK. In some areas more than 300 mm of rain was reported in just two days (193 mm of rain deluged Hoeryong City) causing the flooding of the Tumen River and its tributaries around the DPRK-Chinese border and other areas across the province. Within a particularly intense time period of four hours in the night between 30 and 31 August 2016, the waters of the Tumen River rose between six and 12 metres, causing an immediate threat to the lives of people in nearby villages.
On top of the enormous rise of the water levels in the Tumen River and its tributaries at least one pulse of water also flowed down the Tumen flood plain, creating a violent torrent of water that washed away people, buildings, gardens and crops. This situation was further complicated and intensified due to Typhoon Lionrock which simultaneously hit the coast of North Hamgyong Province. The winds and increased sea levels caused by the typhoon prevented the flood waters pouring down the Tumen River from discharging into the East Sea, the water was effectively locked in the riverbed, resulting in widespread flash-flooding and inundation of surrounding cities, towns and Ris across the entire North Hamgyong Province, but particularly focussed in the six counties that have the Tumen River as their northern boundary.
At least 330,000 people were severely affected across six counties in the province of North Hamgyong in the northeast of the country. Over 30,000 houses were destroyed or damaged, either being submerged or completely washed away and close to 70,000 people were displaced.
The official death toll from this disaster remains at 138 people confirmed dead, with a further 400 people missing and presumed dead while the number of injured people remains unknown. The flooding occurred during the night and hit the population while they were sleeping. Natural disasters are an unusual event in this part of DPRK and the population in the affected areas were relatively unprepared. Although the national early warning system was activated and people were warned of the flooding risk, many people did not leave their houses due to lack of awareness and a sense of complacency to the danger.
On 19 November the Government of DPRK (GoDPRK) announced that their rehabilitation activities have been completed for the affected population. The GoDPRK reported a total of 11,928 families were relocated into new housing units and were provided with winter clothes, heating and basic household materials. The report goes on to conform that 57 kindergartens and nurseries, 13 hospitals, 18 kilometres of river embankment, 131 kilometres of road and 318 hectares of arable land have been rehabilitated. The GoDPRK reports distributing medical supplies and education materials for schools and announced that for the total rehabilitation approximately 370,000 people were mobilized (140,000 soldier builders + 230,000 civilians) from across the country to support the efforts.
It is planned that DPRK RCS and IFRC implemented Shelter activities will continue in Spring 2017 supporting the construction of up to 2,000 new houses in Hoeryong City – replacing badly damaged houses that have been ‘made good’ for the winter but that require significant further attention for the long term. Substantial repair of up to another 1,000 dwelling houses across other affected counties is also proposed.
Activities are also planned in the areas of Health and Water and Sanitation to support gaps and needs of the affected population and are articulated in the relevant sections of this document.