Ban ki-moon lies about North Korea's "emergency" - is contradicted by his guy in Pyongyang - Jerome Sauvage says: " the overall scale of the disaster is smaller than first thought". (Audio of Jerome Sauvage)

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A clearer picture of the latest flood disaster to hit North Korea is slowly starting to emerge, as aid agencies continue their assessments of the worst affected areas.
Flooding has been most severe in the provinces of north and south Hamgyong, Kangwon, and South Pyongan.

Early reports suggest 88 people have been killed in the floods, and almost 63,000 people have been forced to leave their homes.

Many roads and bridges have been badly damaged and vast tracts of farmland inundated.
The UN Development Program's resident coordinator in Pyongyang, Jerome Sauvage, says the overall scale of the disaster is smaller than first thought.

"There is no major problem of stagnant water as in a typical flood. Of course the accumulative effect of a hurricane and the heavy rains that followed hurricane Khanun has added to quite a bit of destruction," Mr Savage told Radio Australia's Connect Asia program.

"The water supply system is damaged and for the next month or more people will be resorting to using alternative water sources because there's a high potential risk that the water is or could become contaminated and lead to an outbreak of diseases.

"The immediate situation is not as alarming as initially feared, but they will require assistance and intervention in some sectors. We're thinking of water and sanitation, health and some food assistance."

Mr Sauvage says North Korea is not expected to call for international assistance beyond the agencies already working in the country such as the United Nations and Red Cross.

He says the UN hopes to have a clearer picture of the flood damage in remote parts of the country in the next three to four days.