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Ministry issues flood alert ahead of imminent storms

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
A flooded home in the Kingdom. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Water Resources and Meteorology Ministry has issued a flood alert for villages along the Mekong River and advised farmers to harvest their crops early.

Minister Lim Kean Hor said a low pressure system is dropping heavy rainfall, causing the water level in the Mekong River Basin to rise in Vietnam and Myanmar and this will also affect Laos, Thailand and the Kingdom.

He warned that average to heavy rainfall from will affect the Sekong River, Sesan and Srepok rivers and also the Kingdom’s northeast plateau.

“This rainfall will cause the water level in the Mekong River to rise, resulting in an increase of levels at the hydrology station in Stung Treng Kratie and Kampong Cham provinces,” Mr Kean Hor said in a statement on Wednesday. “The water levels have already increased, but are still below the danger points.”

He noted that the water levels of the lower Mekong, Tonle Sap lake and Bassac river are expected to keep rising due to heavy rain.

According to the ministry, the water level at the hydrology station in StungTreng has risen to 8.5 metres, but is below the danger point of 10.7 metres.

It said the level of the Kratie hydrology station is at 18.5 metres which is below the danger mark of 22 metres, while that at the Kampong Cham hydrology station is now at 10 metres, 5.2 metres lower than its danger level.

“Generally, the Mekong River always rises twice a year during the southwest and northeast monsoons, causing floods,” he said. “We are now experiencing the southwest monsoon which is usually from mid-May to mid-September or early October.”

“Local authorities should take steps to prepare for floods and alert farmers on both sides of all rivers to quickly harvest their crops,” he added.

Sun Thavreak, Kampong Cham provincial Agriculture Department director, yesterday said that so far the water level in the Mekong River in the province is still low.

“We received the alert from the Water Resources and Meteorology Minister about the Mekong River floods and we have already shared it through an announcement on our official Facebook page so that our farmers are prepared,” he said.

Mr Thavreak noted that the local authorities and farmers are always prepared during the flood seasons.

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology also announced that from yesterday to next Wednesday heavy rain will fall throughout the Kingdom.

It said the rainfall is expected to affect coastal provinces such as Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk which will also experience strong winds.

“Other provinces are also expected to receive a lot of rain,” the ministry said, adding that the public should be alert for storms and lightning.

Keo Vy, a spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, said last week that floods in the Kingdom over the past weeks affected about 8,000 families, killed four people and impacted more than 5,000 hectares of rice paddy.

He said that floods impacted 5,208 hectares of rice paddy, 300 hectares of which were damaged, and 2,275 hectares of alternative crops of which 940 hectares were wrecked.

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