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Beware of shifting landmines due to floods

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
CMAC official checks erosion after flooding uncovers landmines and unexploded ordinances on October 16 in Samlot district, Battambang province. CMAC

CambodiaN Mine Action Centre (CMAC) and Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) have urged people to be aware of an increased risk of mines during floods.

Heng Ratana, CMAC director general said yesterday that CMAC advises anyone who sees a suspected landmine or the remnants of war after flooding, to immediately report it to local police or CMAC officers for removal. He said CMAC provides mine action services to landmine-affected communities.

According to CMAA, during and after floods, a number of unexploded ordnance (UXO), such as anti-personnel mines, anti-tank mines and various war-related explosive remnants that threaten lives, are exposed by landslides.

Ly Thuch, first vice-president of CMAA said that all provincial officials and local authorities should continue to monitor the safety of areas that people pass through to avoid dangers of landmines and explosive remnants of war.

He said that officials must inform the people, students, and children to be very careful about landmine dangers and if found, to not try to move the UXOs but report immediately to local authorities.

“Respond directly to collect and destroy landmines reported by people and mark areas where landmines might be moved by strong flood undercurrents or are uncovered by landslides to prevent people from entering or passing through,” he said.

Thuch said that special attention should be given to those who are displaced by floods living in temporary shelters who may be unaware of risks in the area.

According to CMAA, Cambodia has 743 square kilometres with landmines and UXOs affecting 19 provinces.

A half-year report by the CMAA said this year has so far seen eight people killed and 27 others injured by landmines and UXOs.

During the first quarter, deminers across the country cleared 36,180,704 square kilometres of landmines, destroying 4,893 anti-personnel mines, 120 anti-tank mines and 14,195 explosive remnants of war.

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