Heavy rain leaves eight dead or missing in N. Korea: State media

North Koreas ride bicycles in the rain along the Taedong River bank in Pyongyang, North Korea on Monday, July 22, 2013. Torrential rain has caused severe damage in North Korea, killing five people and leaving more than 23,000 people homeless, state m
North Koreas ride bicycles in the rain along the Taedong River bank in Pyongyang, North Korea on Monday, July 22, 2013. Torrential rain has caused severe damage in North Korea, killing five people and leaving more than 23,000 people homeless, state media reported on Monday. -- PHOTO: AP

SEOUL (AFP) - Torrential rain has caused severe damage in North Korea, killing five people and leaving more than 23,000 people homeless, state media reported on Monday.

Heavy rain has swept the centre of the country and caused flood damage, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

Rains of up to 413mm fell on Tongsin county over three days until late Sunday, it said, citing data from the weather service.

The floods left five people dead and three missing between July 17-20, it said.

"The floods destroyed or submerged more than 6,060 dwelling houses throughout the country... leaving some 23,770 people homeless," the agency said.

Poor weather makes it harder for the communist state to feed its 24-million-strong population as it lacks advanced agricultural technology and infrastructure.