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Thousands still suffering from floods

Som Kanika and Tith Kongnov / Khmer Times Share:
Authorities help evacuate people in Dangkor district, Phnom Penh yesterday. KT/Khem Sovannara

A National Committee for Disaster Management report released yesterday said that severe flooding continues to impact some 193,268 people across the Kingdom.

According to the report, 19 provinces are currently dealing with the heavy floodwater, plaguing a total of 69 districts and 258 communes in Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Battambang, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu, Kampong Thom, Kandal, Koh Kong, Mondulkiri, Pailin, Pursat, Preah Sihanouk, Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, Svay Rieng, Siem Reap and Takeo provinces, as well as Phnom Penh.

The statement also highlighted the increasing damage to property, which reportedly rose to 57,923, as well as damage being recorded to 426 schools, 24 bridges and 202 kilometres of road.

Amid the adverse weather conditions, Kandal provincial administration on Wednesday announced a temporary ban on heavy vehicles using National Roads 2, 3, 4, 5, 20, 20A, 21, 21A and 21B, in a bid to prevent further damage to roads.

Authorities have warned people about using electricity during the floods to avoid electric shocks. KT/Khem Sovannara

In the capital, Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng also closed off Street 217 in Dangkor district to prevent people from dangerous levels of flooding.

Sreng also advised residents to avoid using electricity where possible to avoid electric shocks.

He added that city residents can contact the following flood relief lines if they are in need of help – 012 849 666 / 012 777 666.

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology also appealed to the public to remain vigilant against storms and strong winds, especially those living in lowland areas, near waterways and along the mountains from Saturday to Monday, as a new wave of storms is predicted.

The ministry said the provinces which will feel the worst effects of the storms include Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Pursat, Kampong Thom, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, Kandal, as well as Phnom Penh.

Flash flooding has inundated Stung Prek Tnaot Dam, causing it to overflow and flood four communes in Dangkor district – namely Spean Thmor, Sak Sampov, Kong Noy and Rolous – affecting some 1,527 families.

The flooding has damaged infrastructure and roads, with thousands of families forced to flee to safe areas as hectares of farmland were overrun by the spill.

Sak Sampov commune chief Tith Sam Oun said that flooding in the area was concerning.

“Chamkar Te Dam on the ridge of Kirirom mountain, which holds 5 million cubic metres of water, collapsed during heavy rain, raising the water level of Prek Tnaot River, which leads to Phnom Penh, to over 8.80 metres above the 1.80 metres alert level, devastating families living along the river,” she said.

Soldiers are on hand to help evacuate stranded citizens impacted by the floods in Dangkor district. KT/Khem Sovannara

Spean Thmor commune chief Oum Long told Khmer Times yesterday that flooding in his commune has inundated 807 homes, equivalent to 898 families, across eight villages so far.

Sak Sampov commune resident Chev Samol said that the floods have been devastating.

“The flooding has meant it has become increasingly hard to make a living. The rice fields have been almost wiped out. We are also worried about the safety of our children, we cannot work and do not want to send our children to work during the floods,” he said.

Lieutenant Colonel Pen Phai, a Brigade 99 officer who is stationed nearby Prek Thnaot River, said that although they have helped evacuate lots of citizens, they have reported no injuries or fatalities.

“We deployed 139 troops and 10 speed boats to evacuate people to higher ground,” he said.

According to a report from the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology yesterday, a typhoon named Saudel is due to hit northern Vietnam on October 17, resulting in adverse weather conditions in Cambodia between October 17 and 19.

The ministry urged Cambodians across the country to take precautionary measures ahead of the storms and avoid putting themselves at risk.

Last night, Prime Minister Hun Sen visited flood-affected victims in Dangkor district. Mr Hun Sen said that donations for flood relief have reached more than $6 million.

 

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