China and North Korea evacuate thousands after floods

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Picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency shows houses submerged in floodwaters near the Sinuiju area, North Korea
Image caption,
The military has been deployed to aid rescue work in North Korea

China and North Korea have evacuated thousands of people from their homes after heavy rains burst the Yalu river, flooding areas near their border.

North Korean state media reported that 5,000 people had been moved in the city of Sinuiju and nearby villages.

China is continuing mass evacuations, with 94,000 people in the Dandong area being taken to safety after the Yalu burst its banks on Saturday.

Further rain is expected in the region, putting more pressure on rescue work.

North Korea's official KCNA news agency reported that water from Yalu - or Amnok, as it is known in Korean - had destroyed homes and buildings in five villages.

Sinuiju, in the North Pyongan province, was said to have been "severely affected", with residents trying to find safety on roof-tops or on higher ground.

The agency reported that Kim Jong-il, North Korea's leader, had deployed military units, including the air force and navy, to aid rescue efforts and move at least 5,150 people.

Sinuiju lies on a vital trade route for North Korea and previous flooding has exacerbated problems in a country where millions have died in famines over the last two decades.

'More rain'

In China, at least 200 houses have been destroyed in the city of Dandong, in Liaoning province, and four people are reported missing, state media say.

Xinhua news agency says that a local weather station on Sunday morning had forecasted more rains over the next 24 hours.

More than 1,500 people have died in China in recent months.

The latest flooding comes after the deaths of more than 700 people in China in a landslide triggered by heavy rains in Zhouqu county, Gansu, last week.