Sunday, August 5, 2012


400 MISSING, 212000 HOMELESS - Floods which hit parts of North Korea in recent weeks killed 169 people and left 400 missing, the state news agency said Saturday, sharply updating earlier casualty figures. It said the floods and torrential rain between late June and the end of July also made 212,200 people homeless and washed away or inundated 65,280 hectares (161,310 acres) of cropland. United Nations agencies have visited the worst-hit areas to assess aid needs and the World Food Programme (WFP) is sending an initial shipment of emergency food aid. The country suffered a famine in the 1990s that killed hundreds of thousands and still struggles to feed its people even in normal times. UN agencies estimated last autumn that three million people would need food aid this year even before this summer's deluge. More than 8,600 houses were destroyed and another 43,770 swamped, and more than 1,400 schools, hospitals and factories collapsed, the news agency said. Official media had previously reported 119 deaths, with 84,000 people made homeless and 45,370 hectares of farmland damaged.

The WFP said its initial assistance would provide victims with an initial ration of 400 grams (14 ounces) of maize a day for 14 days, after the UN assessment mission found considerable damage to maize, soybean and rice fields. Immediate food aid is needed for residents of the worst-hit counties, such as Anju and Songchon in South Pyongan province and Chonnae in Kangwon province. It also stressed that tens of thousands of families urgently need clean drinking water to prevent disease. Wells had been contaminated by overflowing latrines, creating a high risk of a diarrhoea outbreak, while floods had damaged water sources and pumping stations. The UN mission said about 50,000 families would need purification tablets or other help to secure clean water. The UN children's fund UNICEF has ordered 10 million tablets and drugs and IV fluids were also badly needed. The assessment mission said a hospital in Chonnae county had already seen a fourfold rise in diarrhoea cases.  Outdated and inefficient agricultural practices, along with a shortage of fertiliser have contributed to the annual food shortages.

North Korea said 400 people were missing and about 212,000 were left homeless following heavy rains and floods that lasted through July. The floods killed 169 people and injured 144, while destroying more than 8,600 houses and submerging 43,770 residential buildings.  Widespread deforestation, partly to clear land for crops, has made the impoverished nation increasingly prone to serious flooding which ends up washing away the harvest. Conditioned life in the material world is actually extremely fearful, therefore every living entity should take shelter of the Lord by all means.

Through parental care, through remedies for different kinds of disease, and through means of protection on the water, in the air and on land, there is always an endeavor for relief from various kinds of suffering in the material world, but none of them are guaranteed measures for protection. ... In this material world, everyone is trying to counteract the onslaught of material nature, but everyone is ultimately fully controlled by material nature. Therefore even though so-called philosophers and scientists try to surmount the onslaught of material nature, they have not been able to do so. Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita (13.9) that the real sufferings of the material world are four - janma-mrityu jara-vyadhi (birth, death, old age and disease). In the history of the world, no one has been successful in conquering these miseries imposed by material nature. prakriteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah [Bg. 3.27]. Nature (prakriti) is so strong that no one can overcome her stringent laws.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam - Canto 7: “The Science of God”
Chapter 9: “Prahlāda Pacifies Lord Nrisimhadeva with Prayers”
Verse 19 - Bhaktivedanta VedaBase

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"


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