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Event Details

Drought event report

Category: Drought
Observation: 03.03.2008
Continent: Asia
Country: North Korea
State:
Area: Statewide
Location:
Severity: Hight
Event details
North Korea has experienced an abnormally mild and dry winter that has hampered the growth of some crops, state media reported Monday, threatening to exacerbate the impoverished country's chronic food shortages. Temperatures rarely dropped below minus 15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit), Kim Mun Uk, said an official at the North's Hydro-Meterological Service. There was also scant snow or rain in the capital, Pyongyang, or in western and eastern coastal regions between mid-December and Feb. 21, the report said. Pyongyang received no snow or rain for all of January. "This abnormal climate phenomenon has seriously affected the growth of autumn wheat and barley". About 2 million people are believed to have died in North Korea from famine since the mid-1990s. Rice and corn are the main staple foods for North Koreans. Barley and wheat account for about 6 percent of the total 4 million tons of grain the North produced last year, according to South Korea's Unification Ministry. To help feed its people, the North received 700,000 tons of food aid in 2007 from the international community, including 410,000 tons from South Korea, the ministry said.
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