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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Boundary news Headlines

Severe flooding in border regions

(27 August 2010)

Severe flooding has recently struck the border regions of Mexico and the United States, as well as China and North Korea.

Rains from nearby Hurricane Alex in late June-early July led to the rise of the Rio Grande affecting border crossing points in Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and several other points along the international boundary, including Ciudad Anahuac further to the south in the Mexican state of Coahuila. Officials evacuated tens of thousands of homes in this highly populated border region; many low-lying irregular developments were at risk from flooding. The International Boundary Water Commission has stated that water levels in the binational Amistad Dam, located on the Rio Grande, are at their highest since 1975. Deaths were reported in the Mexican cities of Nuevo León, Coahuila, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas, and San Luis Potosi.

Flooding of the Yalu river which demarcates the border of North Korea has led to the evacuation of 250,000 people from their homes in northern China. Approximately 2,000 soldiers have been deployed to the region to assist with the evacuations. At the border crossing of Dandong four people died due to the flooding. It is believed the recent flooding of the Yalu is one of the most serious events in the past 60 years. Less is known about the impacts of the flooding on the North Korean side. The bridge across the Yalu (known as the Amnok in North Korea) was reported to have remained open, though rail services were affected; the crossing is a major supply route in to North Korea.

Source: Tens of Thousands Evacuate as Rio Grande Floods, Associated Press, July 7, 2010; Quarter of a million evacuated as river floods in northern China, The Irish Times, August 24, 2010; More than 100,000 evacuated as China-North Korea border floods, The Guardian, Jonathan Watts, August 22, 2010