The National Committee for Disaster Management has put in place action plans to respond and rescue people during the coming flood season, as forecasts indicate that this year’s water levels may be higher than last year.
NCDM first vice president Kun Kim on Tuesday led a meeting with the officials of the General Secretariat and relevant departments to task and implement responses during the flood season.
NCDM spokesman Seak Vichet said yesterday that during the meeting, the committee’s leaders allocated roles and responsibilities to subordinates, including preparing over 700 armed forces and police personnel and rescue equipment to help people affected during the floods.
“In addition, there is also a plan to prepare evacuation centres in at-risk provinces, which may be done soon in some [that have been affected],” he said. “We also have the Early Warning System via the telephone number 1294 which will notify those registered in the system in advance if a flood occurs in their area.”
However, Mr Vichet said Tuesday’s meeting was held to set out tasks for relevant officials of the NCDM only, and action plans at the sub-national level would be put in place in the future depending on the actual situation.
He urged all citizens to be cautious and prepare in advance for flooding.
Water Resources and Meteorology Ministry spokesman Chan Youttha, said yesterday that according to the first river level forecast, this year’s water level could reach 9.7 metres which would be higher than last year but is still considered an average level for a flood.
“However, we will continue to monitor and forecast the water level, and in case of any changes, we will notify further,” he said.
Mr Youttha said floods do not only have negative impacts because mild to moderate levels could also provide benefits to the agricultural sector.
“If there are severe floods like in 2011 and 2013, it will be disasterous. But, if the flood level is small or medium in size, it will bring us many benefits such as flowing to fill lakes such as Tonle Sap Lake which is an important habitat of fish,” he said. “Floods also bring sediment which increases the soil fertility and kills some insects which destroy crops.”
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