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Thailand dam opens exacerbating floods in nine districts

Som Kanika / Khmer Times Share:
Floods in Banteay Meanchey affect nine districts. Fresh News

Banteay Meanchey provincial information department said yesterday that Thmar Puok and Svay Chek districts, which border with Thailand, have flooded due to the opening of the Huai Yang dam sluice gates in Thailand.

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Information official Sek Sokhom said that the water was released slowly after Thai authorities informed Cambodia that the dam would be opened due to excess water on Friday.

Provincial Governor Um Reatrey said yesterday that floods in at least six districts in the province have affected more than 15,000 families and forced at least 2,700 families to evacuate.

Speaking while visiting affected villagers, he said that as rain continues to fall, water will continue to flow from Thailand and the nine districts will face further flooding.

He added that the three other districts in the province, Phnom Srok, Svay Chek and Preah Net Preah have not been badly affected yet but are due to face more flooding. However, at least 12 schools have been damaged so far.

Reatrey told local media on Saturday that some parts of Thmar Puok and Ochrov districts have also been affected by the floods and about 50 families in Poipet city have been evacuated.

Amid the adverse weather conditions, Banteay Meanchey province yesterday temporarily banned travel for all types of heavy vehicles from using National Roads 56 and 58 and some provincial roads.

The statement said the suspension of traffic is aimed to prevent any possible accidents and keep roads and bridges from collapsing. Residents in other flood-hit areas were also told to be ready to evacuate, and authorities are on standby.

The Kampot Provincial Disaster Management Committee on Saturday issued a notice to people living along both sides of Kampong Bay river to be careful of flooding in light of the hydropower company opening the sluice gates at Kamchay dam.

According to Chan Vitu, a Kampot provincial official, Kampot city and Chhouk district have only been slightly affected as the water was released slowly to prevent flooding.

He added that only one gate was opened and according to observations by local authorities, the citizens along the river have not been affected.

The Kamchay dam’s sluice gate was opened on Saturday and since then the water has begun to subside to below 1.49 metres.

The National Committee for Disaster Management announced on Saturday the flash floods continue to affect 19 provinces in the Kingdom, affecting more than 240,000 people and taking 20 lives, including five children.

According to the report, 19 provinces are currently dealing with heavy floods, inundating a total of 71 districts and 283 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.

A total of 61,357 families, equivalent to 245,428 people, have been affected. While nearly 8,000 families, equivalent to 26,608 people nationwide, have been evacuated to safer ground.

The statement also reported the damage to property, which included 59,268 houses, 459 schools, 169,081 hectares of rice fields, 73,291 hectares of crops and many roads, bridges and canals.

 

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