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Suspected North Korean dam liberation has forced South Koreans to evacuate from river holidays

(CNN)North Korea seems to have released water from a dam near the border with South Korea is. Rising water levels in the Imjin River urged vacationers from neighboring countries to evacuate, officials said Tuesday.

According to government data, the water level of the bridge along the river in Yongcheon County, the southern border area, exceeded 1 meter (about 3.3 feet) on Monday afternoon, and visitors to the riverbank I had to evacuate.

"North Korea seems to have released water from the Hwanggang Dam," said an official of the South Korean Ministry of Unification, which deals with the Global North and Global South.

Yeoncheon-gun said it sent a warning message to nearby residents, warning them to move to a safer place.

It was not immediately clear how many people had to leave after the suspicious release of water.

"The water level is now declining after hovering over 1.6 meters (5.2 feet)," said a Yeoncheon-gun official.

North Korea is stepping up efforts to prevent flood damage caused by recent heavy rains.

South Korea repeatedly urged North Korea to notify North Korea before releasing water from the dam as the river flows through the Yeoncheon, but Pyongyang remained unresponsive.

In 2019, North Korea released water from the dam without warning, resulting in flash floods downstream and killing six South Koreans. Officials from both countries then gathered to discuss the issue, and North Korean representatives expressed their condolences to the deaths of the affected families.