Authorities evacuate villagers

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The Water Resources Ministry says that authorities are on standby. Fresh News

Authorities yesterday began evacuating villagers affected by floods along the Sesan river in Ratanakkiri province, the Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology said.

The ministry also asked villagers along the river to continue to take precautions following a rise in water levels.

The ministry said on its Facebook page that as of 5pm yesterday, Taveng district authorities began evacuating villagers from their homes as water levels continued to rise.

It added that that water levels in the river have exceeded the eight-metre water threshold.

Water from the river is known to flood lowland areas such as Andoung Meas, Taveng, Veun Sai and O’yadav districts.

The ministry said that residents living in those areas should prepare for the worst.

“People living along the Sesan river, please increase caution as the water continues to rise,” the ministry said.

A village along the Sesan river in Ratanakkiri province. Fresh News

Ministry spokesman Chan Yuttha said yesterday that the increase in water levels was partly due to water flowing from Vietnam.

Mr Yuttha said that floods will continue to affect parts of the country as a storm is brewing off the coast of Vietnam.

“Because of an incoming storm affecting central Vietnam, the Sesan river has brought water into our country,” he said.

Ratanakkiri provincial Governor Thorng Savun yesterday declined to comment on the matter.

Ratanakkiri Provincial Hall spokesman Nhem Sam Oeun said yesterday that authorities were prepared to assist villagers living along the river.

Water levels are expected to continue rising in the Sesan river and villagers have been moved out of their homes. Fresh News

“The armed forces and the police are ready to assist people in need,” he said, noting that there have been no injuries in the area so far.

Keo Vy, spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, said yesterday that he could not determine how many people were affected by the rising waters of the Sesan river.

Mr Vy said that people living along Sesan, Srepok and Sekong rivers were informed of the situation.

He said that villagers were told to be prepared for floods and that the situation this year could be worse than last year.

“Provincial authorities have been informing them since last week that they have to be prepared,” Mr Vy said. “People in this area are used to floods and they are even more prepared for it this year.”

As of yesterday, floods have affected seven provinces, including Kampot, Koh Kong, Preah Sihanouk, Kep, Kampong Speu, Battambang provinces, and the capital. About 7,106 families have been affected.

In Koh Kong province alone, six houses, ten schools, five pagodas and five mosques flooded. Water in the province also flooded 8,232 hectares of rice fields and 684 hectares of other crops.

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