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Friday, August 6, 1999 Published at 21:28 GMT 22:28 UK


World: Asia-Pacific

High alert as typhoon threatens

The clean-up continues, but more rain is on the way

Countries in south east Asia are making emergency preparations for more floods as a second typhoon threatens the Korean peninsula.

The Cambodian cabinet has met to devise plans in case the already swollen Mekong River bursts its banks.


[ image: North Korea has also been hit hard by flooding]
North Korea has also been hit hard by flooding
At least eight children have already died in Cambodia and thousands of people have been made homeless.

Japan and Thailand are also on storm alert.

Typhoon Olga caused torrential rains and widespread flooding in both North and South Korea earlier this week and weather forecasters are predicting that Typhoon Paul, could start causing problems on Saturday.

Aid officials say at least 40 people are believed to have died in North Korea and forced more than 20,000 to flee their homes.

In North Korea, the Red Cross says another 42 people are believed to have been killed and about 40,000 made homeless from the impact of Typhoon Olga. The flooding is also reported to have worsened already serious food shortages.


The BBC's Lindsey Brancher; "Fears that the yellow river may break its banks"
The South Korean Government says that more than 150,000 soldiers, firefighters and relief workers have been put on standby for Typhoon Paul.

However hundreds of Koreans from areas worst hit by the floods have threatened to sue the government for negligence.

Lost munitions


[ image: Korean soldiers search for landmines washed away by floodwaters]
Korean soldiers search for landmines washed away by floodwaters
Residents of Seoul and other cities north of the capital say the government failed to raise river embankments and take other preventative measures following flooding last year which caused more than 300 deaths.

Meanwhile, the military has warned Koreans to beware of a new danger caused by hundreds of landmines and artillery shells washed away from bases near the heavily fortified border with the North.

Officials say that tiny anti-personnel mines made of plastic are hard to detect and have appealed to holiday-makers visiting the Han River area to report any suspicious looking objects.

Many people In Cambodia are said to be without access to drinking water or clothing and aid agencies say there is a high risk of disease breaking out as the floodwaters recede.

Search for survivors


[ image: Rescue workers are continuing to pull bodies from the mud]
Rescue workers are continuing to pull bodies from the mud
In the Philippines, hundreds of volunteers have joined the search for survivors from a housing development in Antipolo City that was buried in a landslide set off by monsoon rains.

Thirty bodies have been recovered from the rubble so far bringing to the number of people killed in the flooding across the country to more than 90.

Rescuers say they believe it is still possible survivors will be found in the wreckage although it is now more than three days since landslide.

Survivors of the collapse have threatened to sue the developers of the site, accusing them of sloppy construction.

The capital, Manila, has also been hit hard by flooding and officials there have declared a state of emergency.

In China the government says 725 people have been killed by flooding since June and 5.5 million people have had to be evacuated.

The relatively low toll - compared to last year when more than 4,100 people died - is being attributed to heavy government spending on improvements to river dykes and on moving tens of thousands of people from flood-prone areas.



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Internet Links


South Korea: Office of the president

South Korea: Ministry of National Defense

International Committee of the Red Cross

Philippines: Department of Environment

Tropical cyclones

Latest information on Typhoon Paul


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