Shinuiju Floods, Helicopter Reportedly Lost

[imText1]Shenyang, China — Faced with rising waters in the Yalu River, the North Korean authorities issued an evacuation warning at around 8 P.M. on the 20th, but most residents did not place much faith in it and stayed at home, so the number of flood victims increased when the river burst its banks at dawn on the 21st, according to a Daily NK source.

The source explained on the 22nd, “At 3 A.M. yesterday, downtown Shinuiju started flooding and houses got submerged. The day before yesterday at around 8 P.M. the authorities released a broadcast telling people to evacuate to South Shinuiju, but the majority of residents ignored it.”

He went on, “In Majeon-dong, since the sound of water was so loud at dawn, only then did people evacuate their places to an elementary school in the neighborhood which was on higher ground. Some of them could not leave, so presumably there were victims.”

He added, “I heard there might be deaths, although there has been no official report yet.”

If people also ignored the evacuation warning in other regions, there is a high possibility that damage in Sangdan-ri, Hadan-ri and Daji-ri in Shinuiju, places in which Chosun Central TV reported 100 percent of houses and farms had been flooded, might have been much more significant than in Majeon-dong.

The source explained the reason why people did not listen to the warning, “Since the middle of this month there have been a few warnings, but nothing serious happened. Therefore, people did that.”

“Cadres living in apartments were busy carrying their stuff to upper floors, but those who don’t have any property have nothing to damage, so it can’t have been that. There might have been some who stayed at home in order to keep a few domestic animals or a small amount of land,” he added.

Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Saturday, “From 12 A.M. to 9 A.M. on the 21st, due to more than 300 mm of heavy rain falling around the Supung Dam, 100 percent of houses, official buildings and farms on the Yalu River were flooded and Sangdan-, Hadan-, Daji-ri in Shinuiju and Seoho- and Eojeok-ri in Uiju were also flooded.”

Meanwhile, another source has reported to The Daily NK that while airplanes and helicopters were rescuing trapped people, one helicopter crashed, killing the crew.

The source explained, “The helicopter was approaching Sangdan-ri alongside the Yalu River in order to rescue isolated residents, but it crashed into a rice paddy. The two pilots died.”

Although Chosun Central TV reported the fact that helicopters had been sent to the rescue project on the orders of Kim Jong Il, there was no word of the crash.

According to the source, people rescued by other helicopters were sent to Dongrim, North Pyongan Province.

The KCNA reported that some 5,000 residents were evacuated to high ground.

The clean-up has been underway since the 22nd, and will continue for three days. Shinuiju residents are taking part.