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Typhoon killed 48: North Korea

Seoul -

A strong typhoon which hit North Korea last week killed 48 people and left more than 50 injured or missing, the country's state news agency said on Monday.

Typhoon Bolaven pounded the Korean peninsula last Tuesday, leaving a trail of death and damage in the two Koreas.

In addition to the casualties, 21 180 people were left homeless by the storm, which destroyed or inundated 6 700 houses, toppled more than 16 730 trees and disabled 880 industrial and public buildings, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said.

Bolaven also damaged at least 50 000 hectares of farmland, ravaging crops in 45 320 hectares of paddy and non-paddy fields, it said.

It was not immediately possible to independently verify the death toll or damage estimates.

The impoverished North is still grappling with the after-effects of floods in June and July that killed 169 people and left 400

missing.

The country suffers chronic food shortages, with the situation exacerbated by floods, droughts and mismanagement. During a famine in the mid to late-1990s, hundreds of thousands died.

Outdated and inefficient agricultural practices, along with a shortage of fertiliser and diversion of food to the military, have contributed to the annual food shortages. - Sapa-AFP

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